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If your senior loved one has recently been hospitalized, he or she may get readmitted in the next couple of months. While the reasons for hospital readmissions vary among seniors, some of the most common reasons include infection, falls, and dehydration. Here are five tips for reducing your loved one’s risk for hospital readmissions.
1. Watch for Signs of Infection
It’s not uncommon for seniors to develop hospital-acquired infections. While your loved one may have contracted the infection at the hospital, he or she may not have exhibited symptoms until returning home. If your loved one develops a fever, sore throat, rash, cough, urinary problems, or fatigue, make an appointment with the doctor. If an infection is present, a course of antibiotics may alleviate the infection so it doesn’t worsen and cause your loved one to return to the hospital.
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 Albuquerque, NM, 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.
2. Know the Symptoms of Dehydration
Dehydration can also raise the risk for hospital readmission in seniors. Once your loved one gets home from the hospital, he or she may still be ill and may not consume enough fluids. Also, new medications prescribed in the hospital, such as diuretics, may also contribute to dehydration. If your loved one has decreased urinary output, a dry mouth, itchy skin, fever, dizziness, or lethargy, he or she may be dehydrated and need to be readmitted to the hospital.
3. Keep Follow-Up Doctor Appointments
If your loved one fails to follow up with the physician, undiagnosed or undertreated issues that may have been present during the initial hospitalization could be missed. Over time, your loved one may become ill again because he or she didn’t get follow-up treatment and may need to go back to the hospital.
A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications and provide transportation to doctor appointments. When searching for reliable Albuquerque home care service 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.
4. Provide Medication Reminders
Seniors who live alone may not comply with their hospital discharge instructions and new medication orders. They may avoid taking new medications because of side effects or because they’re unable to afford them. Make sure your loved one takes all prescribed medications so he or she doesn’t become ill, needing a second hospitalization.
5. Prevent Falls
When your loved one returns home after a hospital stay, he or she may still be sick and weak, which could raise the risk for falls or a fracture, necessitating a hospital readmission. If you’re unable to care for your loved one after he or she comes home from the hospital, consider hiring an in-home caregiver until your loved one fully recuperates and regains strength.
Albuquerque at-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. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at 505-798-0800 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.