Hospital admission prevention is worth a pound of medical bills.
Hospital readmission is a serious issue. Unnecessary hospitalization of seniors can put them at risk for hospital-acquired infections, like pnuemonia, a leading cause of death in the aged.
Professionals who work with older adults know that some seniors who are hospitalized often do not return home in good condition or with adequate assistance. The older the elder is, it seems likely they will never return to their home. They either end up in a nursing home or a funeral home.
Research reveals that many hospitalizations can be avoided if precautions are taken. Most primary caregivers would agree that keeping a senior out of the hospital is an important goal. However, I’ll wager that if you were to ask these loved how they can help reduce the chance of a hospital visit, you would end up looking at a blank stare.
The problem of preventable hospitalization of seniors is viewed as very to extremely serious by three-fourths (74.6%) of the North American nurses surveyed who specialize in senior care.
A vital factor in keeping seniors out of the hospital is family or the primary caregiver, the Personal Care Aide. 98% of the nurses surveyed agreed that the caregivers’ role is critical in helping to keep seniors healthy and out of the hospital is as important as that of the medical community. Those same nurses estimate that nearly half of senior hospitalizations (48.5%) could be prevented with early detection and intervention. These same nurses also recommended providing education and instructional resources as a means of helping to reduce hospitalizations.
In spite of that, less than half (48.6%) of the seniors they see say they have family members, caregivers or Personal Care Aides who serve as active advocates for their care.
Prevention is Possible
What are the key actions to help keep seniors safe at home and out of the hospital through proactive and preventative measures?
- Don’t ignore symptoms
- Reduce risk of falls and accidents
- Stay active physically and mentally
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Follow doctor’s orders
One of the most important actions that families can take to help keep their senior parents out of the hospital is to make the senior’s home free of hazards. Regularly survey your loved ones’ home for trip hazards: electrical cords, throw rugs, tears in carpeting or chipped floor tile, small pets, clutter strewn onto the floor, etc.
If you cannot get to your loved ones’ home conveniently, hire a senior care auditor or PCA to check up on your loved one. You can find educated, certified and registered Senior Care Auditors and Personal are Aides in the free registry at CertifiedCare.org. CertifiedCare registry members have the type of education primary caregivers need to anticipate all types of problems before they happen.
Do not put off medical appointments. If you have problems accessing medical care look into telemedicine options, hire a Senior Care Auditor, or hire a PCA who has a good driving record and reliable transportation.
“Look for the pin and check the registry. Choose a CertifiedCare.org member for your eldercare needs”. #OprahsFavoriteThings
Health Quality Institute Award for quality improvement goal of reducing hospital readmission rates.
***Research conducted by Home Instead, Inc.