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Depression Among Seniors May Affect Hospital Readmissions

Depression Among Seniors May Affect Hospital ReadmissionsDepression affects millions of people all across the country every single year. Sometimes it can be diagnosed as clinical depression, and only a trained medical professional should be diagnosing any type of severe depression. For some seniors, though, even mild depression can affect their ability to recover from a medical emergency or ailment and, subsequently, increase the risk of a readmission.

Understanding hospital readmissions.

While the federal government is placing more pressure on hospitals to reduce these rates, if a patient has to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge, it’s technically considered a readmission. It’s also a sign that there were complications or the patient did not follow instructions, pay attention to their health, or have the right support on hand after discharge.

There are plenty of reasons this could happen.

Some people may not think hiring a home care aide or other service is affordable. Some believe they will rely on family members, such as adult children who live in the area. Others believe calling on friends or their neighbors every once in a while is more than enough. Sometimes it is, but more often than not, is not nearly enough.

Some may also experience depressive symptoms.

No one should self diagnose. No family or friend should ever diagnose a loved one, either. If there are serious concerns about depression, to the point where the senior is not motivated to change their diet, exercise, or even get out of bed, the doctor should be consulted immediately.

For mild depression that keeps somebody from feeling positive and encouraged, it can be difficult to push through physical therapy, get exercise when it’s recommended, and do things that help them recover. The senior may not see the value in these activities because they can’t envision ever getting back to enjoying things that used to be so important to them.

Depression could be caused by side effects of prescription medications, their physical conditions, anxiety about future health emergencies, feelings of isolation and loneliness, and much more. If somebody feels depression is not going away, not temporary, and is directly impacting the recovery process, they should be encouraged to consult their doctor.

If the risk of a readmission increases because of depressive symptoms that causes the senior to avoid activities and exercise, things are the doctor recommended, this is a serious issue to deal with. The elderly person should consult his or her doctor as soon as possible to find a way around this and, ultimately, improve the chances of recovery.

Interim HealthCare is a nationwide company that is dedicated to helping seniors maintain full, independent lives where they most desire to live: in the comfort of their own homes. Call us today to find a location near you. 800-944-8888

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