October 4, 2016 |

6 Warning Signs of Institutionalization Risks for Seniors

You already know for certain just how big a problem institutionalization can be, both for the seniors in your care and for your business.  Losing a senior to a nursing home means a reduction in your revenue.  It means you have to find new clients to replace the ones you’ve lost, and it also means a big decline in quality of life for your clients.  Avoiding institutionalization makes sense.

But how do you do it?  What should you watch for?  Are there signs you can be alert for so you’re able to head off a nursing home move?  Absolutely, and SeniorGrowth is right there with you, working hard to help you provide excellent care for your seniors who are aging in place.  Want to know what should get your attention?  Read on!

1. Advanced age

To put it simply, the older a senior, the more likely he or she is to need nursing home care.  Client age is one of the many factors SeniorGrowth’s risk assessment tool uses to evaluate the likelihood of your clients having to leave your care for an institution.  Making sure all your caregivers are equipped with basic information about each senior and understand the relationship between institutionalization risk and age is vital.

2. High number of prescriptions

Medication management is a huge part of any senior caregiver’s responsibility, and it can certainly be a challenge to ensure each senior is given exactly and only what’s been prescribed.  But another reason why a large number of prescriptions can be difficult is that those seniors are more likely to end up placed in a nursing home.  Keeping an eye on each client’s medications and making note when a new medication is added can help caregivers accurately assess institutionalization risk.

3. Self-rated health status

If seniors indicate a decline in overall health, they’re more likely to end up in a nursing home.  Whether the self-rating is a result of actual physical decline or simply indicates an attitude change, the institutionalization risk is the same.  Perception can all too often become reality, so it’s important that caregivers monitor seniors’ feelings about their own health.

4. Dementia

When seniors become unexpectedly absentminded, forgetful, and agitated, that’s a definite sign that institutionalization is a potential outcome.  While it’s not possible to reverse inevitable dementia, there are absolutely steps caregivers can take to help slow the progression and to keep seniors active and able to handle some everyday tasks for themselves.  But it’s impossible to make changes if caregivers miss the signs.  Make sure each one of your caregivers knows how to use the powerful tools SeniorGrowth has designed to keep seniors healthy and aging in place as long as possible.

5. Prior institutionalization

While knowing a senior has previously been institutionalized may not have a huge effect on day-to-day home care, it is in fact an indicator for increased risk of subsequent institutionalization.  Caregivers who know their seniors’ history will be more alert when it comes to identifying other warning signs in a timely fashion.  Every day that passes can make a difference when it comes to seizing an opportunity to improve seniors’ quality of life.

6. Functional and cognitive impairment

Finally, the last big warning sign that your senior is an institutionalization risk is their physical and mental health, specifically in the instance of a decline.  We know our seniors won’t stay healthy forever, but when caregivers notice a downward trend while they’re tracking health over time, they need to ensure they’re doing everything they can to prevent a senior’s health from worsening.  And that includes enlisting the help of key people in each senior’s life.  Making sure families understand the importance of social interaction, proper nutrition, and established routines can go a long way toward keeping seniors in their own homes.

SeniorGrowth knows you don’t need another thing to keep track of.  And that’s why we’ve developed sophisticated tools that help you collect and make sense of critical data.  If our institutionalization risk assessment indicates that one of your seniors is in danger of going into a nursing home, we also provide specific steps both caregivers and families can take to get the senior back on a healthier track.

It’s not enough to simply care for immediate, day-to-day needs.  Seniors need caregivers who are looking out for the future as well.  For a limited time, SeniorGrowth is offering a 30-day free trial of their care intelligence platform.  You’ll have our powerful institutionalization risk at your disposal, along with a number of other tools designed to help you give excellent care.  Reserve your spot today by clicking the button below.