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Fall, the Flu and How this Can Affect Hospital Readmission Rates

Reducing Hospital Readmission Rates in Indianapolis, IN

Reducing-Hospital-Readmission-RatesThe flu is no fun for anyone, regardless of age. For the elderly, it can be a potentially life-threatening situation. If you have an elderly loved one who has recently been hospitalized for any reason, he or she will be sent home (discharged) to continue with the recovery. When you’re talking about hospital readmission rates and determining the best way to help reduce them, keeping the senior safe and healthy (on top of everything else they are contending with) can certainly be challenging at times.

Flu season begins during autumn and when an elderly individual contracts the flu it increases the risk of complications and potentially a return visit to the hospital. Would this technically be considered a readmission? Generally speaking a hospital readmission is any time a patient has to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge, usually for some type of complication that is directly related to their initial hospitalization.

That doesn’t mean somebody who contracts the flu while home trying to recover from the stroke, heart attack, surgery, or other health issue that caused the hospitalization in the first place can’t avoid certain external complications.

The flu vaccine.

Every year doctors admonish parents of infants and very young children and the elderly to get the flu vaccine. This is not a guarantee that a person who gets the vaccine is not going to contract the flu but it significantly reduces that risk. Some seasons the flu vaccine is far more effective than in others and while it is still too early to tell what this year’s vaccine batch will be like, one thing is for certain: if the senior contracts the flu while trying to recover from whatever ailment hospitalized them in the first place it’s going to present a serious health risk and even more complications.

Why the flu is a major concern in the later autumn and winter months.

The most significant reason the flu is so common during the winter months as well as late autumn is because people generally close their windows and doors to keep heat inside their homes and businesses. That means air is not being recirculated as often or as effectively as it is during the spring and summer months. Bacteria, viruses, allergens, and other foreign contaminants can remain lingering in the house for an extended length of time. That increases the risk of somebody contracting the flu.

If you’re in charge of helping your elderly loved one reduce hospital readmission rates into the future, make sure they talk to their doctor about the flu vaccine.

The professionals at Great Care are available to talk with you and your family about all of your home care needs. Great Care is a non medical in-home care agency providing quality and affordable home care in Indianapolis, IN and the surrounding areas. Call (888) 240-9101 for more information.

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Valerie VanBooven RN BSN

Editor in Chief at Approved Senior Network
Valerie is a Registered Nurse and long-term care expert. She has published 4 books on caring for aging adults and is the Editor in Chief of HomeCareDaily.com and ApprovedSeniorNetwork.com