Medical practitioners across the country are being pressured to find ways to reduce hospital readmission rates. While there is certainly a lot more than these hospitals and doctors can do to help their patients, especially with more information, the recovery of those patients is also within their own responsibility.
If a patient isn’t willing to follow their directions, if they don’t have the desire to get motivated and do any exercises that they may be required to do, then it’s going to increase the chances that they will have to be hospitalized once again. It’s also avoidable.
For the elderly patient who comes home from the hospital due to an injury, an illness, stroke, heart attack, or anything else, they are going to be tired. The body has undergone an extreme shock to its system. That means they will likely be more fatigued than usual. Add onto that the fact that many medications also cause drowsiness and you have a recipe for a challenging few weeks for the patient.
Hospital readmissions are defined by the federal government as any patient who has to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge. Reducing those rates will depend on many factors. While you will understand that the patient is going to be fatigued, that he or she will be sleeping more throughout the day, and that he or she will be less motivated to want to get up and do certain things, it’s more important than ever to find ways to get them out of bed.
Letting them sleep all day –unless those are the directions from their doctor– is not going to help them. You may feel bad about getting them up and moving, or making sure that they don’t sleep the day away, but when you don’t get involved and get them to be more active in their recovery, you’re actually going to be doing more harm than good to them.
While the body needs rest to recover, it also needs exercise. The muscles need oxygen, the heart needs to strengthen, and the lungs need to fulfill the increased demand for that oxygen. If the patient is sleeping all day because they ‘feel’ tired, they will not recover well and the chances that they have to return to the hospital will go up.
Help the patient you know get moving and do whatever exercise their doctor prescribed for them. When you do that, you’ll help to reduce hospital readmission rates.
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