Hospital readmission rates are increasing among seniors in the United States. According to a new study, 1 in 6 Medicare patients are back in the hospital within one month of being discharged. In some areas of the country, more than 17 percent of people are readmitted following surgery. Whether you’re a family member or part-time caregiver in Jefferson County, there are several things you can do to reduce a senior’s chances of being readmitted for problems related to surgery.
1. Schedule a follow-up visit with a primary care doctor
Researchers have found that a lack of follow-up care is a major cause of hospital readmissions. In fact, just 40 percent of seniors discharged from the hospital had a primary care visit within two weeks.
2. Talk with health care providers
Another problem is a lack of communication between patients and health care providers. Make sure you speak with your senior loved one’s doctors and get your questions answered before leaving the hospital. Work with your loved one’s doctors to create a detailed, customized care plan for home.
3. Fight surgical site infections
Infection is the leading cause of re-admittance, with 6 percent of patients across the country being readmitted to the hospital due to infection alone. Be sure you understand the doctor’s care instructions. Ask how long the incision site should stay dry and check the incision every day for signs of infection. Do not use lotion on the incisions. Dressings should be changed daily according to the doctor’s instructions. If you notice signs of infection–such as increased pain, an incision that’s hot to the touch, redness of the surrounding skin, or green or yellow discharge–contact your loved one’s doctor right away.
4. Get help
While your loved one is recovering, it can help to have someone nearby and available at all times to provide help around the house, mobility support, and safety monitoring. You may find it helpful to set up a rotation system with other family members or reach out to a Jefferson County home care agency.
Promote a safe and efficient recovery in the comfort of home with help from Jefferson County Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of hourly and live-in care, as well as specialized Jefferson County dementia care and Alzheimer’s care, ensuring seniors have the in-home support they need regardless of abilities. Call us today at (303) 987-5992 and speak with a friendly Care Manager to learn mor