With the growing aging population, it’s no wonder hospital readmission rates have become a major concern in recent years. After all, seniors over the age of 65 make up the bulk of people readmitted to the hospital. Currently, many healthcare organizations are conducting research to find out what can be done to enhance the quality of care for everyone who enters a hospital. Understanding these stats can help you feel better about your ability to help your senior loved one avoid readmission.
According to a study by the United Health Foundation, approximately 14.9 percent of all Medicare recipients who were discharged from the hospital were readmitted. This is slightly lower compared to past rates that were as high as 17 percent, but there’s still much more that can be done to reduce the percentage even more. It’s also interesting to note that variances in the statistics exist based on where people live as well as their ethnicity. The same study reports Hawaii had the lowest readmission rate (12.2 percent), while Virginia had the highest, with a rate of 15.7 percent.
Reliable professional home care can help aging adults maintain healthy habits that can prevent hospital readmissions. 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 Portland, ME, 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.
Most Common Reasons for Readmissions
The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality has also conducted research regarding the reasons people tend to be readmitted following a 30-day hospital stay. The top cause is listed as congestive heart failure, followed by septicemia and pneumonia. The agency notes Medicare recipients account for more than 55 percent of all readmissions.
A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications, reducing the chance of readmission. When searching for reliable home care service 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.
How the Medical Profession Is Working to Stop Readmissions
The rising rates of readmissions over the last several years have led to organizations establishing policies to lower the risk. For example, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program in the U.S. involves tracking the stats on hospitals to identify those with higher readmission rates. In some cases, hospitals with high or increasing rates can be penalized with fees. According to a study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the program seems to be working. In the first year the program was implemented, 60 percent of hospitals had to pay fees. By the second year, the average penalty rates were lower.
What You Can Do to Help Your Loved One
The risk of a senior being readmitted to the hospital can be attributed to a variety of factors. For instance, one theory about the higher rates of readmission for Medicare recipients is that they may lack the ability to handle their follow-up care. For instance, your loved one may no longer own a car, and arranging for transportation could be what it takes to prevent a setback. In addition, professional home care services can help your loved one remember to take medication and follow the other parts of the aftercare plan so he or she is less likely to develop complications.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Portland homecare service experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (207) 835-4849 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.