Aug 3, 2017 by Kristina Butler
Many millions of American seniors are hospitalized each and every year. It is estimated that between a quarter to a third of these hospitalizations could have been avoided. Worse, up to half of the seniors who are discharged will be readmitted to the hospital within 60 days, and the vast majority of these readmissions could be avoided as well. Thankfully, when it comes to preventing hospitalization, there are some solid facts and common factors. One of them is the helpfulness of elder care services.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, "Every second of every day in the United States an older adult falls, making falls the number one cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans." Most senior falls are preventable. Comfort Keepers elder care services can conduct a fall-risk analysis and safety inspection of your senior loved one's home. By making even a few minor adjustments, most seniors can significantly reduce the risk of a home-based fall. This is significant since 75 percent of senior falls occur at home.
While falls may lead the list of reasons that seniors end up in the ER, medication mismanagement is the number one reason seniors end up back in the hospital. As with falls, medication mismanagement is highly preventable. Statistically, seniors over 65 years of age take at least five different medications each day. Twenty-five percent take more than ten. Yet, recent studies found that less than half of seniors take their medications as they are prescribed. Elder care services can help your senior loved one with their medication management plan and help keep them out of the hospital.
Not receiving medical care in a timely manner greatly increases the risk for hospitalization. Sadly, many seniors either do not notice their health deteriorating or simply write it off as "getting older". Others continue to go downhill because they are not following a doctor's orders from a previous illness or injury. When family members cannot provide regular observation of their senior loved one, elder care services personnel can spot the changes in a senior's health. They can also help them follow the doctor's orders in the first place.
In short, there are many ways seniors can reduce their risk of hospitalization. Other ways include weight management, a healthy diet, avoiding certain lifestyle choices, and engaging in regular exercise. While seniors may not be able to do it all on their own, Comfort Keepers elder care services are there to provide the support they need in the comfort and convenience of their own home.