Reducing hospital readmission rates is often considered something hospitals and doctors are focused on, not patients. In reality, everyone needs to play a role in promoting a healthy recovery for people when they’re discharged.
What is a hospital readmission?
Technically speaking, if a person has to be readmitted to the hospital within a set amount of time, mostly due to complications or other issues, it can be considered a readmission. The federal government has been placing extra pressure on hospitals all across the country to reduce these rates as a way to save money on medical expenses.
One of the key components to reducing these rates is information.
It’s one of the reasons why doctors and hospitals have been providing more information and support for patients after they’ve been discharged. For family and friends, especially for older individuals, there are plenty of things people can do to help them reduce these readmission rates. Below are four steps that can make a world of difference.
Step #1: Ask for help.
The senior should be willing to ask for assistance. If they tell their loved ones, friends, family, and others that they’re fine, they aren’t willing to ask for help. That is not going to promote a good, healthy recovery.
They need to be willing to ask for help when it’s necessary.
Step #2: Know their limits.
Everyone has limits of what they can do. When a person has been discharged from the hospital they might try to get back into their normal routine of life as quickly as possible, but that could put them in harm’s way relatively quickly.
They should analyze their physical capability, balance, strength, and other factors and accept whatever new limits are being imposed on them by their own physical capabilities.
Step #3: Rest when necessary.
Depending on the health issue that caused the hospitalization, the senior may need to rest more than they need to exercise or do other activities. Even if they are called to exercise regularly, they need to supplement that with adequate rest to give their body, and their brain, time to recuperate.
Step #4: Ask their doctor for clarification, when needed.
If the senior is unclear about certain instructions or expectations from their doctor, they should be encouraged to ask questions. A question that goes unasked, either out of concern that it’s considered ‘stupid’ or irrelevant, is a missed opportunity to stay healthy and safe during this recovery process.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care to reduce hospital readmission rates in Drexel Hill, PA, please contact the caring staff at True Direct Home Health Care at 215-309-3119.
Doc, as he is called by everyone - staff, patients and clients - first experienced home health care and hospice care while as a colleg student at King's College as he cared for his mother every day as while she first battled COPD and then lung cancer. It was during this time that he came to understand that caring for a patient was more than just clinical expertise. "Admittedly, my strongest attribute is my communication skills and the simple fact that I love to help people. Even the smallest thing you can do for someone really can mean so much to them long term. In fact, it could change them forever. That's what providing quality personal home health care should be all about."
In his spare time, he cooks for homeless shelters and children's music and arts events. He also is highly involved in his local youth sports soccer academy as a coach and Board member.