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How Home Care Can Help Seniors Avoid Rehospitalization

Avoiding rehospitalization with home care

For patients returning home from a hospital stay, the last thing they or their families want is a return visit to the hospital or the emergency room.

At Hebrew SeniorLife Home Care, our goal is to keep seniors from returning to the hospital by providing the in-home medical treatment, therapy, and help with the essential activities they need to recover. Whether an individual is diagnosed with a new illness, recovering from surgery, or chronically or terminally ill, home health care services can be invaluable.

Since we specialize in caring for older adults, we know how easily they can end up in the hospital or emergency room. Without anyone to monitor their progress after a hospital stay or make sure they are taking care of themselves, it’s all too easy for a senior to end up making frequent trips back to the ER.

While all of us would like to avoid trips to the ER, it’s even more important for seniors. Hospitals themselves pose an increased risk of infection for older adults. Plus, if the individual has Alzheimer’s disease or memory issues, there are also increased risks for disorientation and depression.

What are the main reasons seniors end up being readmitted to the hospital after their original stay?

  • Falls. According to the National Council on Aging, one in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall. If the older adult has just returned home from a hospital stay, he or she is often weakened by spending a lot of time in bed. They are often unsteady on their feet, making falls an even bigger concern.

In-home physical therapy can assess the patient’s mobility, and help with strengthening as well as coach the individual on using assistive devices if needed. While clinical care is key, we can also evaluate the patient’s home to recommend changes that promote safety.

  • Medication mistakes. Many seniors are on multiple medications to manage several chronic conditions. They are especially vulnerable to making medication errors or forgetting to take their medications at all. That’s where quality home health care can make a difference, ensuring that the right medications are taken at the right time.
  • Failure to follow doctor’s orders. After hospitalization, doctors often prescribe specific activities to keep the patient on the road to health. Hebrew SeniorLife Home Care staff work hand-in-hand with hospitals, rehab facilities, and community-based primary care providers to ensure that care is coordinated. Collaboration is key to keeping seniors on the path to wellness and avoiding that dreaded trip to the ER.

At Hebrew SeniorLife, we have become experts in managing transitions of care that may occur as patients’ needs change. Our goals are their goals – better health, a great quality of life, and staying out of the hospital or emergency room!

Maureen T. Bannan, RN, MA's picture

About the Blogger

Executive Director of Hebrew SeniorLife Home and Community-Based Services

Maureen T. Bannan, RN, MA, is Executive Director of Hebrew SeniorLife Home and Community-Based Services. Home and Community-Based Services provides senior patients with care and support, in their homes and communities, to help them recover after an illness, manage their chronic conditions or adjust to new physical limitations. HSL Home and Community-Based Services include: HSL Home Care; HSL Adult Day Health Programs; HSL Private Care Powered by Houseworks; HSL Personal Assistance; and HSL Hospice.

Maureen oversees programs and services addressing the national trend for increased...

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