Using Education to Lower Rehospitalization Rates

By , 9:00 am on

Most hospitals have policies and procedures in place designed to lower the rate of readmissions. Effective discharge-planning strategies as well as follow-up phone calls can ensure your senior loved one doesn’t get readmitted to the hospital soon after being discharged. The following education interventions may also keep seniors from going in and out of the hospital.

Caregiver Education

An inexperienced caregiver may not recognize subtle changes in a medical condition and therefore may fail to notify the physician when his or her loved one takes a turn for the worse. When subtle changes in conditions aren’t recognized and treated quickly, they may progress into major events, warranting hospital readmission. Before discharging your loved one, the doctor or nurse will go over pertinent information regarding your loved one’s health status and treatment plan so you feel comfortable and confident. 

A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications, reducing the chance of readmission. 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 Rocklin, CA, 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.

Medication Management

Before seniors get discharged from the hospital, the nursing staff teaches them how to take their medications properly. If your loved one uses insulin, B12, or hormonal injections, he or she will be instructed on proper injection techniques. After the nurse’s demonstration, your loved one will follow up with a reverse demonstration. Knowing how to properly take medication can prevent medication errors and hospital readmissions.

Nutritional Counseling

If your loved one was diagnosed with a new illness such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney failure, the doctor may have prescribed a therapeutic diet. For example, diabetes diets are typically low in carbohydrates, and diets designed to manage high blood pressure are generally low in sodium. A nurse educator or hospital nutritionist will talk to both you and your loved one about making healthy dietary choices and the importance of following the therapeutic diet. If your loved one fails to follow the newly prescribed diet, he or she may end up in the hospital again as a result of complications from the disease.

In Rocklin, elder care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Wound Care Education

If your loved one has a wound, the nurse will show your him or her how to properly care for the wound prior to discharge. Whether it’s a surgical incision, an ulcerated bedsore, or a diabetic stasis ulcer, it’s essential that your loved one understands how to care for the wound. If your loved one has cognitive deficits, you’ll need to learn proper wound care techniques. If the wound isn’t managed with proper dressing changes and other treatments, an infection may develop, warranting another hospital admission. The nurse will also explain the importance of monitoring the wound for signs of infection. You and your loved one will be told that if the wound appears red, warm, or inflamed, an infection may be present. Other signs of infection include an increase in drainage, pain, or bleeding at the wound site as well as headache, muscle pain, fever, nausea, and fatigue. If your loved one develops any of these symptoms, hospitalization may be necessary for intravenous antibiotic therapy.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. When searching for reliable senior home care 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. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 916.226.3737 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.