Five Ways to Prevent Hospitalisation in Seniors
A recent British Red Cross report revealed a startling increase in the level of hospital read missions.
Figures showed a 22.8% increase since last year with the number of people being readmitted to hospital within 48 hours accounting for one in five emergency readmissions. It is often the case that vulnerable people reach a crisis point before they receive support and this is something we should all want to help prevent. I want to help older people to live well at home for longer and reduce the risk of them being hospitalised.
Here, I offer FIVE ways to help keep your loved one out of hospital.
Having an excellent GP is essential but equally important is making sure that older people follow their GP’s direction. Good care providers are trained to spot ‘red flag’ changes in health such as worsening chronic conditions or unused medication and can act to remedy this. They can also assist with transportation to appointments and help with medication management.
- Keep physically and mentally active
Encourage your relative to keep active where possible. Walking for just five or 10 minutes at a time several days each week is a great way to begin. Keeping the brain active through activities such as drawing, doing a puzzle or learning something new are great ways to stimulate the connections between nerve cells.
Often our appetite diminishes as we age but maintaining a balanced diet is essential. Encourage your loved ones to eat a diet containing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, oily fish and starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice. Extra vitamin D and calcium should be on the menu to combat osteoporosis
It is important that your family member stays hydrated, even if they say they’re not thirsty. It is advisable to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
Research shows that loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health so it’s important to encourage social activities such as attending a lunch club or memory café or joining a social club. Home are providers can help you with all of the above – from companionship visits to preparing healthy meals – so that your family member can live life well and reduce the risk of going into hospital.
I believe that with the right care, the number of unnecessary hospital admissions can be reduced.
John Kirk is a Senior Care Consultant with over 14 years’ experience in senior care including leading a large residential & nursing care home group, high quality care at home services and the provision of specialist consultancy services to residential, nursing and domiciliary care providers.