The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) reports hospital readmissions result in nearly $2 billion in related acute care costs. Additionally, a Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) study notes flaws in transitional care provided at home after hospital stays increase seniors’ risk of readmission. These are just some of the recent facts about hospital readmissions you’ll want to be aware of if you provide care for an older loved one.
Readmission Risk Is Highest within the First 30 Days of Discharge
For seniors, readmissions to the hospital are more likely to occur within the first 30 days of discharge. A 2019 study based on health administrative data from Ontario also found people with certain health conditions are more likely to need to return to the hospital within a month of being released. Some of these conditions include:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Cardiovascular disease
Professional in-home caregivers can monitor seniors for post-hospitalization complications, reducing the chance of readmission. When searching for reliable home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved one will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, 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.
Complex Chronic Conditions Result in More Readmissions
A CMAJ-referenced study involving elderly hospital readmissions focused on more than 700,000 older adults. Twenty percent of them did not survive after being readmitted to the hospital. However, the study’s authors note many of these seniors had complex chronic conditions. If a chronic condition frequently sends your loved one back to the hospital, you may be able to reduce his or her risk of needing additional inpatient care by taking the following steps:
- Learning more about your loved one’s chronic condition
- Talking to the doctor about proactive steps, which might include adjustments to your loved one’s diet and appropriate regular exercise
- Watching out for potential issues related to your loved one’s chronic condition (e.g., serious foot infections if he or she has diabetes)
A live-in professional caregiver can make your loved one’s transition from the hospital safer and more comfortable. 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 live-in care Toronto, ON, 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 live-in caregiver.
Readmissions Cost More than Original Admissions
According to CIHI, unplanned hospital readmissions affect nearly 200,000 Canadians each year. A report in the BC Medical Journal shows readmissions, on average, cost about $3,000 more than original hospitalizations. Readmissions can be especially costly for seniors in Canada who don’t have supplemental private coverage that takes care of what’s not covered by public plans.
Planning for Post-Release Care Is Important
According to a 2019 article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, hospital infections have decreased by 30 percent in Canada in recent years. While this is certainly good news, University of Alberta research shows seniors who receive care at home after being released from the hospital have a greater risk of being readmitted.
These stats suggest hospitals are being more diligent about care and that family caregivers need to be just as proactive about care provided after a loved one is discharged. Such efforts could involve:
- Confirming your understanding of your loved one’s post-hospital care instructions
- Setting up the home in a way that eliminates potential fall hazards and makes frequently used items easy to reach
- Preparing healthy meals for your loved one that are easy to heat and eat
- Knowing the signs of infection so you can report any concerns to your loved one’s doctor quickly
• Arranging for professional in-home care for times when you’re not able to assist your loved one as he or she recovers
A professional caregiver can be an invaluable source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. 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 home care service 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. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (416) 488-8777 today.