September 21, 2016 |

7 Things You Can Do to Lower Seniors’ Hospitalization Risk

We’ve already explored the ways in which hospitalization can hurt your business:  lost revenue, increased costs, unhappy families, bad reviews, and decreased quality of life for the seniors in your care.  You understand that you need to explore strategies for reducing hospitalization risk in your business.  Let’s take a look at practical tips you can implement to make your company even stronger.

1. Monitor overall quality of life

Because we care for seniors in a range of physical and mental health conditions – individuals with a range of needs and demands – it’s incredibly useful to have a single measure of each client’s quality of life.  Not only does a quality of life number give us a snapshot of a given patient’s condition, but it’s also a powerful tool to help track changes over time.  A rapidly declining quality of life figure can indicate a problem – one that could be addressed to head off hospitalization.

2. Prevent falls

You know it’s important.  Your staff knows it’s important.  But we still see dramatically high rates of hospitalization following falls.  Making fall prevention part of your business culture is common sense, and SeniorGrowth’s tools and recommendations can help reinforce the importance of protecting seniors, both with caregivers and families.  Keeping fall prevention in the foreground keeps seniors in your care.

3. Manage medication

Another common cause of senior hospitalization is mismanaged medication.  Doses can be missed.  Dosage may be incorrect.  Medications can be mixed up from patient to patient.  There can be unexpected interactions among medications.  The list goes on.  If only you had an online tool that would help you keep all your patient information straight.  That’s right!  You do!  SeniorGrowth keeps accurate records so you don’t have to rely on your memory or your seniors’ instructions.  Make sure you’re handling your clients’ medications in the safest way possible.

4. Promote social interaction

While it’s easy to become hyper-focused on acute physical needs, don’t ever forget just how vital a social life is in maintaining a healthy emotional outlook.  When seniors feel isolated, forgotten, and lonely, their physical health is far more likely to decline as a result.  SeniorGrowth gives you practical tools and specific recommendations to help encourage seniors and their families to foster social interaction.  An active social life gives seniors a reason to maintain their physical health.

5. Maintain a healthy diet

Just like social interaction nourishes emotional wellbeing, proper nutrition ensures seniors have the energy to keep up their physical health.  For patients with chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, that nutrition becomes even more important.  It can be overwhelming to try to manage medication, activity, physical health, and diet, but seniors without a balanced diet are far more likely to require hospitalization.  Using SeniorGrowth’s Follower feature, you can share details about seniors’ care and diet with key family members.  The family members, in turn, become your partners in providing the best care.

6. Preserve structure

Many seniors feel frustrated by the perception that their lives may be slipping from their control, and one of the best ways to reduce their anxiety is to establish and maintain a routine.  Seniors who know what to expect from each day are far less apt to become emotionally distressed.  Though unexpected changes to routines will crop up, adhering to a schedule helps seniors cope with their uncertainty about the future.  SeniorGrowth’s tools give you both overviews and detailed assessments that will help you build and maintain the structure your seniors need.

7. Plan for the future

Another strategy for reducing seniors’ anxiety about the future is to simply address it.  SeniorGrowth’s newest tool – Life Planner – helps bring together caregivers and families to assess and address the necessary decisions about a senior’s future care.  When seniors know they have a plan for dealing with future challenges, they’re far more likely to enjoy a fuller, better quality of life in the present.  Content seniors are hospitalized less frequently than depressed seniors, so addressing anxiety about the future can have a measurable effect on current health.

Senior care has so many complex, moving parts.  Seniors are individuals, with unique needs and challenges, and equipping yourself with the best tools to help manage their care makes you a more efficient, effective caregiver.

Sign up for a free SeniorGrowth hospitalization risk assessment today, and you’ll learn just how dramatically you can reduce your seniors’ risk of ending up in the hospital.