Negative Effects of Repeat Hospitalizations on Seniors

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Due to the aging process and the medical conditions that often develop in older adults, many seniors require a hospital stay at some point. However, for many different reasons, seniors are often readmitted to the hospital after their initial hospitalizations.

Even though these seniors need additional medical intervention, subsequent hospitalizations often have negative effects on their overall health. Here are some of the adverse effects of readmission to the hospital for seniors. 

Decline of Mental Health and Depression

Having to return to the hospital is a step backward in the recovery process. A senior who doesn’t get healthier as expected may begin to give up hope and decide that regardless of how he or she follows medical advice, the condition won’t get better. Hospitalizations take seniors away from their homes, their spouses, and other loved ones. Visitors may not be frequent. Seniors begin feeling isolated and lonely, and they become depressed. Having a poor emotional and mental outlook can have detrimental effects on physical health.

Delirium from Frequent Surgeries

Seniors may suddenly exhibit confusion after undergoing surgery or when a medical condition worsens. The trauma of surgery combined with the effects of anesthesia may affect cognitive ability. Any medical condition that impedes blood flow to the brain also disrupts function. The cognitive symptoms demonstrated may be mistaken for the onset of dementia. The problem is likely temporary, but delirium may raise the potential of developing actual dementia in the future.

Hospital-Acquired Infections

Bacteria, fungi, and viruses are often present in medical facilities. If the medical staff doesn’t adhere to hygiene protocol, they can pass the microbes on to others. Visitors may unknowingly bring in harmful organisms. Seniors who need bladder catheters, IVs, or other invasive treatments or procedures have a higher risk of developing infections. Any object inserted into the body creates a pathway that makes microbial invasion easier. Having an infection on top of trying to recover from another health issue only makes the battle for recovery that much more difficult.

Safety Concerns from Weakness or Medication

Older adults living with chronic conditions or recovering from injuries often receive pain medication, which can cause mental fogginess and sedation. Medical conditions combined with being bedridden commonly weaken seniors in the hospital. Being in altered mental or physical states heightens the likelihood of falls if seniors attempt to leave their beds unassisted. After falling, they may not have call buttons within reach or be able to call out for help. The mental and physical trauma caused by a fall further inhibits recovery.

Increased Obstacles to their Recovery Journey

An older adult’s body doesn’t heal as quickly as a younger person’s. Every time seniors encounter obstacles to their recovery, getting healthier becomes more difficult. Once they’re again discharged from the hospital, they may have little or no assistance when returning home. Multiple hospitalizations, combined with a weakened state and no help, can have a significantly negative impact. 

Professional Post Hospital Care Services for Senior Loved One

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. South Tampa in-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

If your loved one can benefit from professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call us today at (813) 488-5804 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.

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