Hospital readmission is a persistent problem amongst the elderly and reforms by hospitals and other health-related agencies enacted to date have done little to make a real impact.
The truth is healthcare policymakers are not even sure where the problem lies. Are the hospitals discharging patients too early or is the post-hospital home care inadequate thereby forcing the cycle of re-admission? Is the follow-up care by professionals to blame or is the patient and relatives unable to handle the care at home?
Root Cause Unclear
A recent New York Times article raises the issue but admits that no address has been identified for placing blame. Medicaid and Medicare have tried to shame and create incentives for hospitals to reduce their readmissions rates. They publicize readmissions rates by hospital and impose fines, but all to no avail. While patients may receive the best of care and attention during their hospital stay, post-hospital home care may fall short for several reasons.
The elderly may forget or ignore discharge instructions. Or, they may live in homes that do not accommodate their compromised health (i.e. stairs, distance from the bathroom). Moreover, they just may be too plain weak to organize meals or eat. Also, relatives may be unable to lift or move them properly.
Home Health Aide Can Help
This is where the help of a home health aide would be most beneficial. These are professional caregivers who are specially trained and certified to care for the elderly in the home setting. These caregivers can meet the patient at the hospital and escort them home. They help them with meal preparation and feeding and assist them in toileting, bathing and grooming. Furthermore, they help relatives monitor that the discharge instructions are followed.
Finding a home health aide can be burdensome, but luckily there are many licensed home healthcare agencies like David York Home Healthcare Agency out there to help relieve you of that task. They screen the home health aides and make sure they are properly credentialed and able to deal with your particular situation.
David York Agency is always available to help you sort out your situation. We help you develop a care plan to suit your senior loved one. David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for in-home healthcare for elderly patients. We would be happy to discuss your case with you. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website at http://davidyorkhomehealthcare.com/ or visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages.