Using Education to Lower Rehospitalization Rates

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Through education, doctors and nurses can prevent readmissions from happening soon after seniors are discharged from the hospital. Effective teaching and discharge planning benefit both seniors and their family caregivers. Here are some ways education can reduce seniors’ risk of illness or injury and alleviate stress for caregivers.

Fall Precautions

Prior to discharge, the nurse educator will discuss fall precautions. If your aging loved one was hospitalized for a hip or knee replacement procedure, he or she may be at risk of falling after discharge. The educator will instruct your loved one to wear properly fitting shoes with nonslip soles when ambulating and to make sure floors are free of obstacles, such as pet toys, newspapers, backpacks, and shoes.

A professional caregiver can make sure your loved one is safe and comfortable at home after being hospitalized. When searching for reliable elderly 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.

Managing Medications

Medication management education can prevent medication errors and subsequent hospital readmissions. For example, the nurse educator may remind your loved one to avoid taking certain medications with grapefruit juice, which can make some drugs stay in the body longer and lead to dangerously high serum concentrations of the medications. Prescription medications commonly affected by grapefruit juice include cholesterol-lowering drugs, certain antihistamines, and some psychotropic medications.

Self-Monitoring Devices

The hospital educator will demonstrate how to use self-monitoring devices and ask your loved one to perform a “return demonstration” to make sure he or she is using the device properly. When your loved one self-monitors with a blood pressure monitor or a blood glucose meter, he or she is more likely to detect subtle changes in conditions that can be treated at home before they escalate into medical emergencies that require hospital readmission.

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 Naples, FL, 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.

Disease Exacerbation

When aging adults are educated on disease exacerbation prior to hospital discharge, they’ll know which symptoms to look for. For example, it’s not uncommon for those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, to experience a worsening of the condition. COPD exacerbation is one of the most common diagnoses for hospital readmissions among seniors. The nurse educator will instruct your loved one to call the doctor if he or she experiences shortness of breath or mucus secretions become too thick to expel. When the doctor is notified about changes in your loved one’s condition, he or she can prescribe new medications or recommend effective interventions to prevent hospital readmission.

Nutritional Education

If your loved one has diabetes, high blood pressure, renal disease, or hyperkalemia, he or she will need to follow a therapeutic diet. The discharge nurse will discuss dietary interventions and advise your loved one about which foods to avoid and which ones are safe to eat. For example, hypertensive seniors are typically told to follow a low-sodium diet, while diabetic seniors are instructed to restrict sugar intake.

Naples home care 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. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (239) 449-4701 today.