Reducing Hospital Readmission Rates in Easton, MD
By the time Brian was 82 years old, he had been through a number of health issues. His most recent hospital stay involved pneumonia and this wasn’t the first time he had been diagnosed with it. He had a serious bout of pneumonia when he was 76, another one when he was 79, and two minor episodes the previous year.
His doctor admonished him to take care of his health better, and that involved getting proper pneumonia care at home, once he was discharged from the hospital. Although his doctor told him he didn’t think this particular bout of pneumonia had anything to do with the previous issues, he also said it could be related to some degree, especially if you wasn’t taking care of himself properly.
Brian didn’t know anything about hospital readmission rates and wasn’t focused on finding ways to reduce them, at least not for the hospital’s benefit. A hospital readmission is any time somebody is readmitted within 30 days of discharge.
There has been increased pressure placed on hospitals in recent years by the federal government to reduce these readmission rates and that is helping some people, like Brian, pay more attention to proper care at home.
Getting proper care after a hospital stay due to pneumonia requires several things. First and foremost, it requires the individual to get plenty of rest. Pneumonia is an infection that affects the lungs and even though the senior will likely feel better once they are discharged from the hospital, if they overdo it, if they try to clean the house, run errands, and get back to the same level of activity they were used to before the pneumonia, it can result in a relapse and re-hospitalization.
Rest is essential. It’s also vital that the individual drink plenty of fluids. They should be drinking at least eight glasses of water every single day. Some family members and elderly individuals assume that the coughing they experience, with a lot of phlegm, is the body trying to expel fluid so they have a tendency to avoid drinking more water. That phlegm and coughing is productive at helping expel the virus, but it can also lead to dehydration, which is why it’s so important to drink plenty of fluids.
The last thing Brian’s doctor told him was to make sure he didn’t suppress the cough. Unless the coughing becomes extremely painful, uncomfortable, or interferes with rest and sleep, he should allow the cough to run his course as this was how the pneumonia virus was expelled from the body.
Knowing this information now, Brian decided to contact the home care agency to help him with this recovery. He believed that made all the difference in the world.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home caregivers, contact the staff at Comfort Keepers of Easton MD. Call today (410) 822-4414.