Whether due to illness, surgery or injury, a stay in the hospital can seriously threaten healthy aging. Even when seniors head home, they face certain risks, and it's important to place a heavy emphasis on short term rehabilitation, because older adults often make return trips to the hospital for unrelated issues. In fact, an estimated one-fifth of Medicare recipients are re-admitted within 30 days of being discharged.
There are several important elements of post-hospital care, but one of the most crucial is focusing on areas of senior living that may have been disrupted during the stay. For instance, hospitals often make it difficult to sleep and could throw a wrench in eating a healthy diet, so seniors should focus on resting, relaxing and improving their nutrition, AgingCare.com reports.
Of course, it's also important for seniors to regain their normal level of activity. Experts suggest that they slowly ease back into their regular routine, whether it includes volunteering, exercising or continuing education. This is especially important when it comes to more significant activities.
"Let them get their bearings back before engaging in activities such as driving," Dr. Harlan Krumholz told the website.
It also helps to have medical professionals on hand so they can detect any potential health problems that may arise, which highlights the benefits of assisted living facilities. Many retirement communities offer short term rehabilitation services that play a vital role in helping seniors maintain their independence. Whether they need physical and occupational therapy or advanced treatment and therapy, personalized care will play a significantly role in helping make sure seniors don't fall into the category of those who have to return to the hospital.