From Approved Senior Network
It’s not always easy to determine if your mother is at risk for hospital readmission, especially if you’re not there all the time with her. She may be in her 70s or 80s, perhaps even older than that, but for whatever reason she had been hospitalized, her doctor or team of doctors decided she was going to have a good chance at making a recovery.
That’s why she was discharged and sent home. It’s important for her to understand those instructions her doctor and maybe even the hospital offered her upon that discharge. While she may not be thinking about a hospital readmission, hospitals are.
A hospital readmission is defined as any time somebody has to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge. What does that mean for her?
If your mother has to make a return trip to the hospital, whether she stays overnight or is seen by an emergency room doctor, it means recovery was not going as planned or hoped by her doctors or even her. The sooner she recognizes various signs that indicate she’s at an increased risk for hospital readmission, the earlier she can contact her doctor and find a way to get on a better track to recovery.
Here are four signs your mother might just be at an increased risk of a hospital readmission.
- She’s not paying attention to doctor’s orders.
Her doctor likely gave her a list of things to focus on with her recovery. In many situations doctors recommend their elderly patients get exercise every day.
That doctor might have recommended a physical therapist to help her get the exercise she needed, but if she refused to rely on one, she’s missing out on an important aspect of recovery.
- She is not getting exercise.
In most situations exercise is a vital component of good health, even for seniors. Most doctors recommend seniors get at least 15 minutes of solid, cardiovascular exercise every day. If your mother is not getting exercise, it’s not helping her heart to get stronger and she’s not allowing her muscles a chance to regain at least some of their strength and mobility.
- She’s depressed or anxious.
You might notice your mother withdrawing from friends, family, or even things she used to enjoy. If you get the sense she may be depressed or even anxious about her health, what may happen in the future, or other factors, she may withdraw from certain things that can bring her enjoyment and motivation.
- She doesn’t have support at home.
If your mother doesn’t have the right type of support at home, she’s going to be limited with regard to the prospect of making a full recovery.
The best type of support comes in the form of an experienced home care aide. Talk to her about relying on a professional caregiver and that could help her recover in a healthier way and reduce the risk of having to return to the hospital before long.