As we age, our need for health care increases. But, with preventative health measures, seniors can take measures to avoid unnecessary or preventable hospital visits. Avoiding hospital visits saves patients, providers, and government aid programs a whole lot of money. While hospitals are fantastic when we’re sick, many avoidable hospital visits take place each year.
Not only do hospitalizations come at a cost, but they’re also no fun! No one wants to go to the emergency room if they can avoid it and stay at home instead, safe and healthy. Keep reading to learn how in-home care can help the senior in your life prevent hospital visits.
What a Nursing Home Study Teaches Us About In-Home Care
A recent study by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that a 17% drop in preventable hospitalizations led to $50 million in savings. During a four-year experiment, participating long-term care facilities were given the training necessary to treat certain conditions in their facility instead of transporting patients to the hospital.
These results are possible because long-term care facilities use medical staff licensed to treat certain issues, such as those related to diabetes or asthma. It simply makes more sense for the “doctor in the house” to treat patients who live there. Non-medical home care differs because workers are not licensed to perform medical tasks.
Yet, home care workers can provide preventative health services for seniors who can safely live in their homes given some help. Preventative measures can go a long way in protecting vulnerable senior populations.
Staying Home from the Hospital
A well-trained home care worker will help prevent medical emergencies, such as falls. She or he will assist the client with activities of daily living and keeping up with healthy habits. There are many measures that a home care worker can put in place to help prevent dangerous falls. These include adding adequate lighting, assistive devices, proper footwear, and smooth flooring can all help seniors reduce their risk of falls.
Besides that, a reputable home care agency will train workers on how to respond to emergencies. They will know when a health issue is beyond their expertise, call the appropriate medical care, and provide safe transportation if an ambulance is not needed. In contrast, they may be able to deal with minor hiccups without needing to bring a senior for hospital care.
For people with dementia, waiting in the ER waiting room may cause disorientation and stress. For people of any age, waiting in the ER is a disruptive, stress-inducing event. For seniors specifically, preventative care in familiar surroundings is far preferable to hospital treatment. This saves time, money, and a whole lot of hassle.
Use of Urgent Care
For minor cuts and ailments, urgent care or express medical care visits are ideal. A home care worker can assist in guiding a senior when it’s the appropriate time to visit the ER. vs. visit an urgent care center. Not only will seniors receive faster care in urgent care for minor concerns, but they’ll also clear the emergency room for people who need critical medical care.
Many newer urgent care facilities even have X-ray or lab work capabilities, helping to keep even more unnecessary ailments out of the emergency room. Not sure when to go to urgent care vs. the ER? Check out this helpful Mount Sinai guide to determine which can best meet your needs.
Making Smart Decisions
All in all, avoiding the hospital when possible can benefit everyone. Elderly persons can save many trips to the hospital by having a home care worker by their side.
To learn more about how to get started with home services, contact Simply Compassion today to get started. In-home care services can help provide important preventative care to avoid those pesky hospital visits!