When you’re a hospital patient, few words are as sweet to hear as when your doctor says to you, “You’re ready to go home.” Whether you’ve been there for a day, week, or month, getting back to familiar surroundings works wonders for your sense of well-being.
There are approximately 35 million patients discharged from hospitals every year. People over the age of 65 have a much higher readmission rate than their younger counterparts. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services, nearly one in five Medicare patients experience readmission to the hospital after discharge.
Tips to Avoid Readmission to the Hospital
Being readmitted to the hospital can be a very depressing event, and our mental health directly correlates to our physical health. Here are some tips to help you recover effectively at home and reduce your risk of returning to a hospital bed.
Don’t hurry at the time of discharge.
Make sure doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff don’t rush you when you’re going through the discharge process. Hurrying through the process is associated with a poor understanding of what needs to be done when you return home and confusion over which medications need to be taken and the dosage and time they should be taken.
Make sure someone is with you.
Have a family member, friend, or caregiver at the hospital with you when you’re being given discharge instructions. You’re probably going to be tired when you leave the hospital and may not remember everything the hospital staff told you to do when you get home.
Have help ready when you get home.
Are you going to need physical therapy, occupational therapy, or home care? You don’t want to be scurrying to line up the help you need when you get home. Don’t waste valuable time looking for care instead of receiving the care you should be getting.
Make all of your follow-up visits to see your doctor, specialist, physical therapist, and any other healthcare professional you should be seeing. Not making your appointments can lead to a relapse or another illness taking hold of you. Have transportation to the appointments lined up as soon as the appointment is scheduled.
Follow all dietary instructions.
Eat balanced, nutritious meals and avoid eating any foods or drinking any beverages your health care providers have told you not to eat or drink. They gave you specific instructions for your body to continue to get stronger and lower the potential for readmission.
Be careful with medications.
Take all medications as directed, and only take medications (prescribed or over-the-counter) that you were instructed to take. Adding any new meds, even some vitamins, to your prescribed medications can cause severe reactions and side effects that can land you back in the hospital.
Don’t try to do too much too soon.
Once you get home, you’re going to want to resume your regular routine. But, the chances are you’ll need to get help with your daily tasks, like cooking and cleaning. Receiving personal care from a home health aide can make a world of difference in the speed of your recovery.
Let HomeChoice Home Care Help You Prevent Hospital Readmission
Even though we strive to be independent, sometimes we need help at home. If you’ve just arrived home from the hospital or will be discharged soon, call us at 919-804-8752 to arrange the home care you need.
If you’re a family caregiver, HomeChoice Home Care Solutions can offer you respite care to give you much-needed breaks when you need them. We’ve been helping families in the Raleigh, Durham, and Cary area since 2005, and we’d love to help yours.