Prevent Senior Hospitalization

It’s All in the Attitude

A hospital stay may be necessary and beneficial. But if there are ways to safely avoid it, most seniors and their caregivers are all for it. To that end, some experts predict that 48.5% of senior hospitalizations could, in fact, be avoided if proper preventative steps are taken.
There’s one powerful factor in helping keep seniors out of the hospital: support. According to a recent survey* of 400 North American nurses who specialize in senior care, nearly 100% of the nurses surveyed agreed that a family’s role in keeping seniors healthy and out of the hospital is as important as that of the medical community.
Prevention is Possible

Three-fourths of nurses surveyed (74.6%) ranked the issue of preventable hospitalization as a very to extremely serious problem. One of the most important reasons to keep seniors out of the hospital is because they can be at risk of hospital-acquired infections. Winter is the highest risk time of year for senior hospitalization, according to 82% of nurses surveyed.
Family is Key
The good news is, helping a senior with a little attitude adjustment can help them stay out of the hospital and that’s where family can play a major role. In fact, three of the top reasons seniors don’t comply with doctor’s orders – unwillingness to change their ways, denial of health issues and apathy – are attitudinal, according to the survey.
(Not) Following Doctor’s Orders
Surveyed nurses estimate that 47% of seniors put off medical appointments or have problems accessing medical care. However, one of the most common barriers that prevents seniors from complying with doctor’s orders is their unwillingness to change their ways. So what can you do?

5 Main Preventative Steps
1.Follow doctor’s orders
2.Don’t ignore symptoms
3.Reduce risks of falls and accidents
4.Stay active physically and mentally
5.Maintain a healthy diet

Whether you’re a family member or another advocate, like a professional caregiver, take time to become more aware of some of the warning signs, risks and preventative measures that could help keep a senior out of the hospital.

*Editor’s Note: For the full report and more information and resources to help assess a senior’s potential risk of hospitalization, go to PreventSeniorHospitalizations.com.
This article was submitted by Colman Gately, Owner, Home Instead, Norwalk, CT. He can be reached at 203-853-0370 or colman.gately@homeinstead.com.