During the past decade, hospitals came under increasing scrutiny for rising readmission rates that seemed to be higher for seniors. While earlier reports of increased readmissions were largely anecdotal, we now have years’ worth of data that show there’s still a serious need to continue working to eliminate the preventable causes of seniors having to go back to the hospital.
Readmission Rates from Past to Present
According to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, the hospital readmission rate for seniors was 17.8 percent in 2010. Recent efforts to lower this rate have been somewhat effective, since it went down to only 16 percent in 2016. Today, efforts by medical professionals combined with new penalties for hospitals that don’t reduce readmissions has led to a readmission rate of 14.9 percent, as reported by the United Health Foundation. While the lower rates are encouraging, it’s important to remember that even one hospital readmission is too many when it’s preventable.
The Negative Impact of High Readmission Rates
Readmission rates tend to be highest among elderly people on Medicare, which impacts healthcare costs for taxpayers. Seniors’ families must contend with the stress of seeing their loved ones’ health decrease. Seniors experience the greatest impact from hospital readmissions. Every new visit to the hospital places older adults at risk for new complications that affect their health. Blood and lung infections, depression, and cardiovascular conditions are all more likely to occur when seniors are readmitted.
Professional in-home caregivers can monitor seniors for post-hospitalization complications, reducing the chance of readmission. When searching for reliable home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved ones 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.
How Healthcare Professionals Are Lowering Rates
Accountability has been brought to the healthcare system through initiatives put into place by organizations and federal programs such as Medicare. Hospitals are now being penalized for failing to lower excessively high readmission rates. Since these initiatives began, hospitals have started implementing strategies, such as focusing on education, to lower their rates. In addition to medical professionals making sure seniors are ready to go home, families should expect doctors to go over the discharge instructions with them several times.
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 Altamonte Springs, 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.
What Families Can Do for Their Loved Ones
Hospitals are starting to focus on what happens after seniors go home. Since seniors who go home without the right support in place are at higher risk for being readmitted, families are encouraged to make care plans before their loved ones leave the hospital. A care plan should outline the senior’s needs along with who is responsible for each one. For instance, a family member may be responsible for picking up groceries, while a professional caregiver may be in charge of reminding your loved one to take medications.
An at-home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Orlando 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. Call Home Care Assistance today at (407) 232-7155 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.