What Single Factor Helps to Reduce Hospital Readmission Rates for Seniors?
There are so many things that go into a healthy lifestyle that it can be difficult to pinpoint one particular issue to focus on most. The same holds true when it comes to recovery, especially for seniors who may have limited strength, mobility, or resources.
While most people aren’t thinking about hospital readmission rates or how to reduce them, they are thinking about recovery. The two are, essentially, the same thing. However, hospitals are focused on reducing readmission rates while patients are focused on their recovery.
There are many aspects to recovery, but perhaps the single greatest factor is communication.
Without proper communication, a person won’t know the best steps to take for themselves. They won’t be able to best position themselves, find the right support, or even understand what to expect in the next days, weeks, or months.
Don’t we all communicate fine?
Most of us have a tendency to assume we communicate without any issues. We talk, we’re clear on what we’re saying, and we hear what other people are saying. But is that enough?
No, it’s not enough. Communication is more than just the words we say. It’s about the ability to listen to another person. It’s using body language, tone, inflection, and more.
Take, for example, if a senior has been hospitalized due to a stroke and is currently unable to speak, how will he or she be able to communicate? Family members may ask questions to elicit a nod or a slight shake of the head, if possible. Is that enough?
There could be a number of issues the senior wants to address, but is simply unable to do so at the moment. How frustrating could that be?
Most cases are not as challenging as the one we just explained here. However, far too often family members take over the recovery process and begin dictating to their loved ones what they should or shouldn’t do.
They don’t stop to listen. They don’t take a moment to ask the right questions. They assume they know what’s best and begin taking over.
If a person doesn’t believe he or she is being heard or no one’s paying attention to their concerns, they may withdraw. They may stop trying so hard with their recovery. They may get so frustrated that, instead of getting back to their normal way of life, they sabotage the recovery out of spite.
Communication is essential for healthy relationships, but also for seniors recovering from any number of medical emergencies that could have landed them in the hospital.