Health & Wellness

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Prevent Hospitalization

Each year, thousands of older adults end up in hospital as a result of accidents at home, medication mismanagement, frailty or mental health issues. Study these “what to watch for” tips. They just might help your loved one avoid an unnecessary visit to the emergency room and save you from the stress of managing a health crisis.

Here are 5 ways to help preventing hospatilization…

1. Follow doctor’s orders
Signs that a senior might not be on track include:
• missed doctors’ appointments for follow-ups or health checks
• unfilled prescriptions or unused pills, and confusion around the medication regime
• the presence of dementia, which can make following doctor’s orders difficult
• lack of good sleep
• forgetting instructions

2. Don’t ignore symptoms
Signs that a senior’s aches and pains—or health conditions—could be putting them at risk include:
• ignoring symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or abdominal pain
• recent hospitalization
• living alone or not having someone check in daily
• discounting subtle changes, such as speed of walking,
weight fluctuations and unsteadiness
• poor personal hygiene
• consumption

3. Reduce the risk of falls and accidents
Signs that senior might be at risk of a fall include:
• inactivity—too much sitting and no exercise
• frailty and poor balance
• lack of grab bars and proper lighting
• presence of throw rugs and other tripping clutter or hazards

4. Help your loved one stay active, physically and mentally
Signs that a senior’s inactivity might be making him or her vulnerable to hospitalization include:
• reduced muscle strength
• lack of friends and social connections
• chronic illness and restrictive pain
• inability to drive and lack of alternative transportation

5. Watch out for a healthy diet
Signs that a senior could be at risk of poor nutrition include:
• no help in preparing meals, or snacking rather than eating properly
• loneliness that negatively impacts a person’s appetite or interest in eating
• inability to get to the grocery store to shop
• weight fluctuations
• stale or out of date food in the fridge l

Source: Home Instead Senior Care

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