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What Are the Best Practices for Reducing Hospital Readmissions?

The recent highlight on hospital readmissions has medical professionals working harder to reduce the rates at their facilities. While the rates are going down, the process of getting people to do things differently takes time. During this time, seniors are at a higher risk for being readmitted to the hospital than younger adults. Understanding the best practices doctors as well as families are using gives you a firm foundation on which to begin your senior loved one’s post-discharge care plan.

Make Sure Your Loved One Is Ready for Discharge

There’s often pressure placed on hospitals to open up beds to new individuals, and it’s possible your loved one could be discharged before he or she is fully ready. This instance is common when a complication is just starting to arise that the medical team might not notice before sending someone home. Watch your loved one’s appearance and behavior closely in the hours before discharge. If he or she looks feverish or has a wound that’s turning redder, ask for a doctor to take a look.

Set Up a Home Environment that Promotes Better Health

If possible, your family should go to your loved one’s house to make sure it’s set up to be conducive to a healthy recovery. If your loved one was sick for some time, he or she may not have been keeping the house clean or stocking the pantry with healthy groceries. Arrange for someone to help you with the housekeeping, then set up a recovery room where your loved one has easy access to the bathroom until he or she is able to get around better.

If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Toronto senior home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Request All Discharge Instructions in Writing

You can bet that by the time you get home, most of the last day at the hospital will feel like a big blur. Hospital readmissions often occur within the first one or two days after returning home because the caregiver fails to remember a specific instruction. Grab a folder and create a system to keep up with all of your loved one’s paperwork. Once you get your loved one settled in, you’ll have a handy system in place to review the steps you need to take to help with his or her recovery.

Ask About Alternative Delivery Methods for Care Instructions

Some family caregivers may have special circumstances that make it difficult to read the written instruction materials. For instance, needing to have the instructions translated into a different language for clarity. Many medical facilities also offer things such as hands-on training for new procedures such as cleaning a catheter. Explore all of the ways you can learn about senior care so you’re fully prepared to perform your responsibilities.

Some family caregivers need assistance caring for their loved ones to avoid a hospital readmission. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional elder care, Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years.

Avoid Underestimating Your Loved One’s Needs

Problems also tend to arise when caregivers don’t realize how much help their loved one requires. Ask your loved one’s medical team for a realistic picture of what a typical day involves. If your loved one requires constant care, arrange for a home caregiver to share your duties. This way, you can do things such as sleep so you’re alert when it’s time for your shift.

Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Toronto, ON, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (416) 488-8777.