Why Are Aging Adults Rehospitalized More than a Month After Discharge?

By , 9:00 am on

The first few weeks after a senior loved one comes home from the hospital can be an extremely stressful time. The primary goal is to help your loved one get back to normal or adjust to a new kind of normal. A senior’s risk for rehospitalization can quickly increase after 30 days as family members return to their own lives. Here are a few reasons for these readmissions.

Injuries

Falls are a major cause of rehospitalization. If they’re at home alone, seniors must get around independently. Without an extra hand or watchful eyes guarding their steps, seniors may lose their footing and fall, particularly in the bathroom, where most in-home falls occur. Other risky activities include:

  • Rushing to get to the bathroom
  • Getting out of bed or a chair
  • Transitioning from hard floors to carpet and vice versa
  • Using a new mobility device, such as a walker or cane

Many aging adults need assistance when they return home after being hospitalized. 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 Bethlehem, PA, 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.

Nutritional Challenges

Dehydration and poor nutrition can also land seniors back in the hospital. Even if he or she receives delivered meals, your loved one may have difficulty opening or eating them. Moreover, the thirst mechanism becomes less sensitive with age. As a result, your loved one may not be thirsty until he or she has lost a significant amount of fluid. Dehydration and malnourishment can cause dizziness and make seniors more likely to fall. Inadequate nutrition can also keep wounds and surgical sites from healing properly. Over time, poor hydration can lead to potentially life-threatening electrolyte imbalances that require rehospitalization.

Senior home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Improperly Performed Therapies

Another area that can spell difficulty for seniors is self-administering prescribed treatments, including medications and in-home exercises. Even if your loved one successfully performed exercises in front of the hospital staff, he or she may not be able to do so at home. The inability to open prescription bottles, read the fine print on medication labels, or safely perform exercises can lead to rehospitalization when the condition doesn’t get better or even gets worse.

Inadequately Managed Chronic Conditions

Seniors with congestive heart failure (CHF) are some of the most frequently rehospitalized individuals. To reduce the strain on the heart, those with CHF need to pay careful attention to how much fluid they’re retaining. Daily CHF care typically involves:

  • Monitoring daily body weight
  • Taking multiple medications
  • Restricting fluid intake

Inconsistent CHF care often requires rehospitalization to prevent further problems with the heart.

Another chronic condition with a high rehospitalization risk is diabetes. People with diabetes must take medications or insulin, monitor blood glucose levels, eat a balanced diet, and incorporate safe exercise into their daily routines. Rehospitalization is frequently needed if blood glucose levels become too high or too low.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Bethlehem in-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 your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 484-350-3874.