As a medical caregiver or case manager, your career description is almost never cut and dry. Your day-to-day duties are often stressful and can change at a moment’s notice. Sometimes you may be helping prepare medications for a patient, and other times you are working on developing the best care plan for an individual.
Home Instead, Inc. recently conducted and released a study that found early detection and proactive action can vastly reduce hospitalization for seniors. Additionally, of the nurses surveyed, 99% reported that the role of the family is just as important as the role of caregivers. By families and caregivers coming together and identifying potential risks loved ones face, they can work together to keep them healthy and out of hospitals and other care facilities. Risk factors vary in severity for seniors. If not addressed, even a seemingly minor risk could quickly escalate to a high-risk situation.
The study breaks down risks into lower, moderate risk, and higher risk.
Lower Risk Factors
Factors such as lacking interests and hobbies or problems with cooking and mealtime routines would fall into lower risk categories. 90% of the surveyed nurses report lack of interest in traditional hobbies could be a risk factor for hospitalization. Additionally, the surveyed nurses reported that proper nutrition is one of the easiest ways to avoid hospitalization.
Moderate Risk Factors
Medical care, diet and mealtime, and safety are categories that would be classified as moderate risk for seniors. Medical care could include seniors missing doctor’s appointments or new or increased medication. Mismanaging medications is one of the leading problems for a senior being sent to the hospital. Reduced vision or hearing impairs senior safety and can also lead to them winding up in the hospital. Finally, nutritional issues and weight changes can be reasons to seek hospitalization for an older person.
High Risk Factors
Things such as falls, accidents, and mobility issues, chronic conditions, ignoring symptoms, and brain-related diseases all are all considered high-risk. One of the top ways to keep a senior safe and out of the hospital is to ensure a senior’s home is free of hazards. Proper care for a senior’s worsening or chronic conditions is another way to ensure they stay out of hospitalization. Over a quarter of nurses in the study stated a senior waiting too long to see a doctor is one of the most common things to put him or herself at risk. Alzheimer’s and dementia are other significant risk factors that may lead to hospitalization.
In fact, the Affordable Care Act mandates that hospitals and nursing homes must reduce their readmissions rate. If a hospital or rehab facility has a Medicare patient that returns within 30 days for the same diagnosis, the facility faces a huge penalty and may not get reimbursed for caring for that patient. Adding a caregiver agency to the discharge orders greatly reduces the risk of readmissions. Harmony Home Care’s chart below shows how our readmissions rates compare to the national average.
Our professional caregivers at Harmony Home Care are trained and prepared to work in conjunction with families to understand and develop the best plan of care for a senior citizen. We proudly offer caregiving assistance in Sacramento, El Dorado, Placerville, and Yolo areas and can answer questions or provide more information. Give us a call at 916-933-9777 or visit our website. For daily tips, advice, and news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus.