The Top 10 Reasons for Hospitalizations in Seniors and How to Prevent Them

Our friends at A Place for Mom recently released an article outlining the top 10 reasons seniors are hospitalized. They include; injuries and accidents, heart disease, chest pain, adverse effects and complications of medical treatment, abdominal pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, urinary tract infection, stroke, and spinal disorders.

Of these top 10 causes for hospitalizations, private duty home care can directly help in half of these scenarios.

Injuries and accidents– These include accidents around the home like slips and falls as well as exhaustion and traffic accidents. Private duty in home health care agencies provide one on one care to assist seniors in their homes and ensure that their environment is safe. This includes making modifications to the home to reduce trip hazards. Additionally, private home care aides provide transportation services for seniors. This helps to ensure their safety on the roads while traveling to physician appointments and social outings.

Adverse effects and complications of medical treatment– This includes reactions seniors may have to their medications. Many seniors are prescribed medications by more than one Physician. Unfortunately, most Physicians operate in silos and do not communicate with each other regarding the medications being prescribed to each patient. This can cause adverse effects in patients. Additionally, many seniors struggle with medication compliance. They may be easily confused about which medications they are to take when, or they may be reluctant to take their medications at all. Some fully licensed home health care agencies provide medication management. This service helps to ensure that seniors are taking their medications correctly, reducing the amount of complications and adverse reactions experienced.

Abdominal pain– abdominal pain can have many causes, two of which include malnutrition and dehydration. Both can have serious consequences for seniors. Both can also be prevented. It is well known that many seniors who live alone experience loneliness and depression around mealtimes. This can cause a decreased appetite, which opens the door for malnutrition. Like everyone else, seniors need a nutritious, balanced diet. As a part of their regular service, in home caregivers prepare nutritious meals that cater to their client’s diet requests and needs. Caregivers are also trained to monitor the liquid intake of their clients, making sure to encourage fluid consumption for proper hydration.

Urinary tract infection– UTIs are common among seniors. Unlike in younger individuals, UTIs can be serious for seniors, causing not only discomfort but also changes in their mental state and health status. Most urinary tract infections are a result of dehydration. As referenced above, private duty in home caregivers can help to make sure that seniors receive the proper amount of liquids on a daily basis to remain healthy.

Spinal disorders-back injuries and arthritis can cause discomfort for seniors. Home health care agencies can help alleviate this pain by providing a personal care aide to assist with therapeutic exercises. Many seniors find improvement in their pain and overall physical status when engaging in regular physical activity for stretching and strengthening.

As you can see, home health care agencies provide more than companionship for seniors. They also help to improve the overall health and well-being of their patients.

Read the full article from A Place For Mom here.

Published Date: August 14, 2015

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