5 Effects of Hospital Readmissions for Elderly People

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Going in and out of the hospital within short periods can have detrimental physical and psychological effects on elderly people. Discharge planners, physicians, nurses, and therapy professionals need to develop multidisciplinary discharge plans to ensure seniors don’t get readmitted shortly after discharge. Here are five effects of hospital readmissions on elderly individuals. 

1. Concerns about Test Results

Many seniors are discharged from the hospital before the results of their diagnostic tests come in. If the results are abnormal, your aging loved one may get a call from the physician advising him or her to return to the hospital, which could lead to extreme anxiety and heighten the risk of blood pressure spikes and cardiac arrhythmia, especially if he or she has preexisting cardiovascular conditions. 

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Home Care Monmouth experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

2. Fatigue

Many aging adults don’t get much sleep or rest in the hospital. They’re often awakened for vital sign checks and medical tests and may be disturbed by chatter at the nurses’ station, housekeeping personnel doing their jobs, and medical emergencies on the unit. They may be more fatigued when they’re discharged than when they were admitted. Post-discharge fatigue can lower immunity, raising the risk of infection and subsequent readmission. 

Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional around-the-clock home care service seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated around-the-clock caregiver.

3. Confusion

If your loved one has dementia or other cognitive deficits, he or she may become more confused if a hospital readmission is necessary. Seniors with dementia may become frightened or combative in new situations and not know why they’re in the hospital. 

If your loved one needs to go back into the hospital, inform the nursing staff of his or her mental status. The nursing staff will take extra care to reassure your loved one and notify the physician if your loved one exhibits any unusual behavioral changes. 

4. Pet Concerns

Elderly people who have pets may worry about the care of their animals if they have to go back into the hospital. They may be unable to get pet sitters on such short notice, which may cause extreme worry. 

Some aging adults may resist or even refuse hospital readmission because they don’t want to leave their pets alone. If your loved one needs to go back into the hospital, reassure him or her that you’ll take great care of the pets so he or she can focus on getting better instead of worrying. 

5. Infection Risk

Infections, such as those of the urinary tract, raise the risk of additional hospital-acquired infections, also known as nosocomial infections. While the hospital staff will do everything they can to reduce the risk, it cannot be entirely eliminated, especially in seniors with suppressed immune systems and certain illnesses as well as those taking certain medications. 

A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications, including infections. When searching for reliable at-home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved ones will be well taken care of. At Assisting Hands Home Care, our expertly trained caregivers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Specialists today.

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