Even though hospital visits are incredibly important in many situations, they can be risky for older adults, which is one of the reasons many hospitals focus on keeping their readmission rates as low as possible. Here’s a quick look at some of the key statistics regarding hospital readmission rates in 2019 and a few steps you can take to keep your aging loved one healthy and out of the hospital after being discharged.
A Breakdown of the Numbers
According to recent studies conducted by the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), hospital readmissions for targeted diseases are down in 2019. That being said, general readmissions within 30 days of discharge are on the rise. In some states, nearly 16 percent of all seniors return to the hospital within just a few weeks of being discharged. These return visits are caused by a wide variety of medical complications, including pneumonia, blood infections, and heart failure.
The Cost of Readmissions
Many seniors live on very strict budgets, and even minor medical expenses can put a significant strain on their finances. According to a recent report from the United Health Foundation, the average cost of hospital readmission for those over the age of 65 is approximately $13,500. That amount is 5.3 percent higher than the average cost of a senior’s initial visit, and many older adults must pay thousands before their insurance coverage kicks in.
In addition to causing a huge financial burden, heading back to the hospital can also put a senior’s health at risk. Whenever older adults are in the hospital, they can be exposed to many different germs they might not come into contact with otherwise, which is one of the reasons some seniors develop serious infections when they’re hospitalized. There’s also a much greater risk of medical errors when seniors are readmitted to the hospital for extended periods.
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.
One of the most effective ways to keep your loved one out of the hospital after being discharged is to come up with a comprehensive recovery plan. Before your loved one is discharged, speak with all the medical specialists who have been treating him or her in the hospital. These individuals will be able to give you information on what medications your loved one is going to be taking and how you can manage the side effects.
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 Mesa, AZ, 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.
Providing world-class care to your loved one can greatly reduce his or her risk of heading back to the hospital. In the weeks following discharge, make sure your loved one takes all of his or her prescription drugs and attends every medical appointment. You’ll also need to keep a close eye on what your loved one is eating and how much rest he or she gets. These two variables can have a major impact on your loved one’s recovery and overall comfort levels.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Mesa elderly home care 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. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (480) 699-4899.