Most seniors are healthier than they were just a few decades ago. They are more active and take better care of themselves than previous generations. With improved finances, they eat healthier foods and get care quicker when it is needed to maintain their health. However, seniors still represent a large number of admissions into hospitals and this number increases with age.
In some areas of Canada, as many as one in three seniors are hospitalized in a single year. With the current average life expectancy at 80.8 years according to the World Bank and on an upward trend, we can expect people as they age to have more health problems and more visits to the hospital.
Two of the main causes seniors are hospitalized are due to injuries and cardiovascular disease.
Seniors are more likely to end up in the hospital due to an injury than people under the age of 65. Falls are the main cause of injury that requires hospitalization. The number of seniors in the hospital due to falls increases as they age, and over half of the population will have a fall after they reach 80 years old. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, hip fractures account for 40 precent of those seniors that are hospitalized due to falls. The average length of hospital stay for seniors is 47 days.
As people age, their bones weaken and may break when they fall. This can be the result of Osteoporosis, which causes bones to be more brittle. Another reason for seniors fall may be balance issues. Frail seniors may be less steady on their feet, causing them to lose their balance and fall when climbing stairs or even just walking.
Other injuries among seniors include motor vehicle accidents, poisoning by medication, suffocation, and fire. While some of these issues are not preventable, many of the risks can be lessened. For instance, keep trip hazards away from seniors and they will be less likely to fall. Set up their medications so they will not accidentally take an extra dose. Watch for fire hazards in the house and unplug the stove if you are concerned about your senior loved one forgetfulness. A microwave is a safer option for heating meals if the senior has a tendency to leave the stove on.
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes for why seniors spend time in the hospital. This includes heart attacks, strokes, and other heart issues. They often have some serious signs or symptoms or an actual heart attack and have to be taken to the hospital where tests are run before they can return home. If any damage occurs, they may need to spend some recovery time in the hospital as well.
Other illnesses bring about a hospital stay, such as pneumonia or chronic conditions that worsen. Even the flu can result in a hospital stay if it becomes serious. To prevent this from happening, any health issues should be looked at by a medical professional quickly.
Conditions such as urinary tract infections or bronchitis can also send seniors to the hospital if they become too weak to care for themselves.
The illness itself may not be serious enough for admission to the hospital, but the complications that come from the illness may require more care. For instance, when seniors get sick they may not feel like eating. This will result in a loss of strength and energy that can incapacitate them quicker than with a younger individual.
After The Hospitalization
Seniors do not bounce back as quickly as they did when they were younger. Even after they are released to go home, they may not have the energy to do the things they did before they were sick. Homecare services are often needed during this transitional period. Caregivers can help with daily tasks and prepare meals to help the senior get their strength back.
Seniors may only feel like resting while they recover and not able to follow their usual daily routine. A caregiver can help them with personal care and other daily tasks so that they will not get too tired. As they begin to recover, the caregiver can help them get exercise and nutrition to prevent other health problems.
Our caregivers at Carefect homecare Services are trained to work with seniors recovering from a variety of illnesses and injuries. We understand their needs after a hospital stay and can help them make an easy transition back to their day to day routine as they recover. Our caregivers can provide personal care and housekeeping services, run errands for them, and accompany them to doctor appointments. Your loved one is in good hands with the caregivers of Carefect Homecare Services.