Whether it’s for an injury, illness or surgery, being admitted to the hospital is sometimes unavoidable. However, making a return trip within 30 days can often be prevented, yet an estimated 20 percent of Medicare patients do just that. Not only does this trend have a negative impact on patients’ health, it costs the healthcare system billions of dollars each year, but a smart approach for transitioning from the hospital to a home care setting can lower the risk of readmission.
One of the most important aspects of avoiding hospital readmission is being educated – this goes for both patients and their caregivers. Doctors often provide a long list of instructions that can facilitate a smooth transition to the home, but it’s also up to caregivers to do some research on their own. Understanding the ins and outs of their loved one’s condition, whether they are recovering from a fall or nursing a traumatic brain injury, will better prepare them for the challenges that lie ahead.
Caregivers should also take steps to help their loved one return to previous levels of activity as soon as possible. Physical and mental decline are often common in elderly hospital patients, the Mayo Clinic notes, and it’s important to get moving as soon as possible.
Professional home care can also help elderly patients avoid hospital readmission. Perhaps most significantly, they can facilitate communication between healthcare providers and seniors to facilitate a smooth transition.