Complications that arise after being discharged from the hospital are real, particularly for elderly patients. Health problems that develop in the 60 to 90 day period following discharge from a hospital is often referred to as post- hospital syndrome, a time when patients are at increased risk for problems sometimes unrelated to the reason they went into the hospital in the first place. Roughly 20 percent of patients wind up being readmitted to the hospital shortly after they were discharged, many nursing home residents among them.
When elderly patients leave the hospital, many return to nursing homes where nursing home staff have an increased responsibility to care for them following a hospital stay. Residents often arrive from a hospital stay in a particularly destabilized state due to immobility, lack of sleep, and the overall emotional toll of hospitalization putting them at higher risk for injury after they are released.
For example, some nursing home treated at the hospital for conditions such as heart failure or pneumonia often return for unrelated issues such as slipping, tripping and falling in a nursing home shortly after being discharged because they were not provided the support needed after being released from the hospital. Sometimes one or two hospital stays snowballs into many and the eventual loss of the resident’s independence due to neglect following the first release.
Preventing Hospitalizations for Nursing Home Residents
First and foremost, reducing avoidable hospitalizations is key to preventing a decline in the health of nursing home residents. This requires that nursing homes provide proper care including good nutrition, help with hygiene, and mobility through exercise. Secondly, hospitals must act to reduce readmissions by ensuring high quality, evidence based care throughout a patients stay. To prevent a domino effect, nursing homes must provide increased support to hospital patients discharged to their care to avoid incidences of readmission. Neglecting this responsibility can be detrimental to a nursing home resident’s health.
Contact a Des Moines Nursing Home Injury Lawyer for Help
Families can help by holding nursing homes accountable for the care they are providing to their loved ones, always vigilant to signs of neglect or abuse that can have serious health consequences to this vulnerable population. If a family member is injured at the hands of a negligent nursing home, it is important to seek the help of an experienced Iowa nursing home neglect and elder abuse lawyer to seek compensation for your loved one and to ensure that no other family has to go through the same neglect and abuse. If your family member is injured in an Iowa nursing home, assisted living or other long term care facility, Contact Iowa nursing home neglect and elder abuse lawyer Marc A. Humphreys at 515-331-3510 for immediate help.