Education is one of the proven solutions for reducing hospital readmissions. Too often, seniors are sent home without fully understanding what their aftercare instructions mean. If family members cannot understand the written instructions or fail to even receive them, they may make mistakes that cause their aging loved one to go right back to the hospital. These five tips for using education to reduce hospital readmissions represent some of the best practices in medical care, and families can even request that these things be done to ensure they understand what happens when their loved ones get home.
1. Offer Information in Multiple Formats
There are different types of learning styles, and giving people several options for receiving information can increase clarity. For instance, a person may not be a great reader, but he or she can watch a quick video to learn how to prevent falls at home. Another person may prefer to have hands-on training in the hospital room before having to do it at home alone.
Professional caregivers can be a wonderful source of information and support for seniors who are recovering after being hospitalized. When searching for reliable elder 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.
2. Use Collaborative Support Meetings
Many hospitals are starting to put together small group lessons, which typically involve families facing similar issues. For instance, a meeting about how to help people recover speech abilities after strokes might include sharing tips for families and recommending apps they can use at home. Collaborative support meetings can also be used to help family members learn strategies for managing changes in their loved one’s health.
3. Rephrase Questions to Check Understanding
In the past, doctors and nurses usually gave a list of instructions when seniors were discharged from the hospital, and that was it. Now medical personnel are being encouraged to ask seniors and their families questions to gauge their understanding. These questions may be asked several times and in different ways to fully reinforce the information in family members’ minds.
4. Ask About the Home Environment
There used to be a clear line between the hospital and a person’s home. Medical professionals used to just leave it up to the family to figure things out, and it wasn’t uncommon for a single family member to shoulder all the work involved in helping a loved one recover. Fortunately, this no longer has to be true. Doctors are encouraged to ask family caregivers questions about the environment at home, which allows doctors to know whether to make recommendations such as having another caregiver stay overnight to prevent fall-related injuries and other post-discharge complications.
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.
5. Explain the Reasons for Specific Instructions
Families are often not aware of why medical professionals perform certain procedures. For instance, it may seem like a nice thing to do to help seniors reposition themselves in bed by propping them up with pillows or turning them on their sides. However, frequent repositioning must be done to prevent serious health complications, such as bedsores and pneumonia. When family members understand why they need to do certain things, they’re more likely to do them.
Bethlehem homecare service 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. Call Home Care Assistance today at 484-350-3874 to learn about our high-quality in-home care.