5 Methods of Using Education to Lower Hospital Readmissions

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Education is a proven way to reduce hospital readmissions. Today, many hospitals are taking education during the discharge process seriously, and it’s reducing the number of seniors who have to go back to the hospital after they’re discharged. Families should look for these types of educational opportunities to make sure there’s no confusion about how to care for a senior loved one when he or she returns home.

1. Identify the Key People

Seniors should naturally be educated regarding how to provide self-care, even if someone else will be doing most of the caregiving. Understanding why things must be done a certain way ensures seniors will be compliant with requests from their caregivers, such as taking medication. Family members should also be included in the education plan along with any other people who are involved with the senior’s care.

Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Waterloo, IA, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.

2. Offer New Information in Multiple Formats

In the past, seniors and their families were only given verbal instructions, along with an occasional printed instruction sheet, at discharge. Now, hospitals are discovering that using multiple types of educational formats better fits the needs of diverse learning styles. For instance, your loved one or a family member may be invited to attend a group lesson on how to live with a new diagnosis. Nurses may provide demonstrations in the hospital room of how to perform specific procedures. Videos, printouts, and audio lectures may also be used to further enhance understanding.

3. Cover How to Take New Medications

One of the biggest reasons for hospital readmissions involves not taking medications correctly. In some cases, a missed dose can lead to a setback such as a relapse or new infection. Taking too much medication can create a fall risk for seniors who experience side effects such as dizziness. You should expect the hospital to cover medication schedules with you several times before your loved one goes home.

A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications. When searching for reliable homecare service agencies, families want to know their senior loved one will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained caregivers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more.

4. Use the Teach-Back Method

Many hospitals begin education from the very first day someone is admitted to the facility for care. During the stay, seniors and their families are often asked to provide feedback regarding information that was just shared. For instance, they may be asked questions that require answers that let the medical team know the information was understood. These questions can be reframed from day to day to reinforce the knowledge and let the medical team know the person understands the information from a variety of different perspectives.

5. Provide Follow-Up Phone Calls

It’s also understood that some of your biggest questions may happen once you go home and start working through the care plan. Education should also include follow-up phone calls from a nurse, hospital representative, or pharmacist, depending on your loved one’s needs. These phone calls ensure everyone is on the same page, and they’re a great time to clear up any questions that arise during recovery.

Waterloo home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 319-260-2222.