Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have been battling hospital readmissions by penalizing hospitals with high rates while reporting their data to the public. While these efforts have shown some success, the high rates for hospital readmissions after surgery still continue. As medical teams work to properly assess patients and develop effective discharge instructions, there are many things that a senior’s family and at-home caregivers can do at home to keep their loved one safe during a vulnerable time.
Speak Up Before Discharge
Patients are often in a hurry to get home from the hospital, and physicians are often under pressure to clear out beds. This can be a dangerous combination for seniors whose health has yet to stabilize. Families should be alert for signs that recovery has taken a downturn such as rising blood pressure or redness around an incision. If something does not look right, then the best time to address it is before your loved one goes home.
Understand the Patient’s Health Benefits
There is so much paperwork post-surgery that families tend to be overwhelmed. Yet, one thing that can be beneficial for recovery is located right in a patient’s insurance benefits handbook. Check to see if your loved one has options available for Douglas County in-home care after his or her surgery. If he or she does, then scheduling an additional caregiver to provide assistance around the home can keep your loved one from trying to do too much too soon.
Reduce the Risk of Infection
Following a surgery, many seniors experience a steady stream of well-meaning visitors who want to show their support. Unfortunately, each one of these visitors can mean exposure to germs that could cause an infection. Try to limit visits to only close family members and caregivers until the danger of infection has passed.
Do Not Neglect Nutrition
Many seniors experience nausea and fatigue after surgery that can interfere with their appetite. It may also be next to impossible for a senior to prepare meals, especially if a new medication causes dizziness. Families can help reduce the possibility of hospital readmissions by making sure their loved one has a healthy meal plan each week that includes all of the nutrients needed for healing.
Make sure your aging relative has the emotional and physical support after surgery for an efficient recovery with help from Home Care Assistance. We’re a trusted provider of hourly and live-in home care in Douglas County, and our experienced caregivers can run errands, pick up prescriptions, grocery shop, cook, clean, provide mobility support, and offer companionship to your loved one during the recovery process. Call our office today at 720-287-1685 and schedule a free consultation with a friendly Care Manager to learn more.