Danger Zone: the Transition from Hospital or Facility to Home | downtown-houston

Posted on March 7, 2013


Caregiver with Elderly womanBeing a patient in a health care facility can be traumatic for anyone.  For seniors, a hospitalization can be a tipping point that results in deterioration of both physical and mental health after discharge. Patients and caregivers can minimize these poor outcomes by taking defined steps.  Knowing these steps gives us enormous power to benefit our clients by helping them increase the odds of a positive outcome.

Educating our clients about the benefits of a transitional care plan during a medical crisis is too late.  Clients and their families need to understand transitional care before they enter a hospital or facility.  The advantages are nothing less than a potential for healthier, longer and more active lives.

The Risks of Hospitalization

It could be said that hospital care, like death and taxes, is inevitable for most of the senior population. Although this demographic group represents only 13 percent of the population they account for 38 percent of hospital admissions and 49 percent of hospital days.  For the oldest-old, those over the age of 85, the rates of hospitalization double.

Hospitals are bastions of hope for the ill but those associated with the healthcare system know that, for the senior, the consequences of hospitalization can be negative effects not related to the reason for admission. For those over 65 even a short hospital stay comes with a 23.3 percent risk of being unable to return home – meaning a nursing home placement.  At discharge, 35 percent of seniors show a decline in some basic Activities of Daily Living and one study showed 50% of senior patients experienced some kind of complication related to hospitalization.

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via Danger Zone: the Transition from Hospital or Facility to Home | downtown-houston.