Medicare data shows that nearly one in five patients who leave the hospital are readmitted within the next month and that more than 75% of those readmissions are preventable. When someone leaves a hospital or rehabilitation facility they are usually healthy enough to return home but may still require additional care and recovery time.
Medicare pays for services related to skilled nursing and physical therapy at home if the patient is improving. However, those visits are for specific skilled tasks such as wound care, therapy or other procedures. Unfortunately, Medicare does not pay for home based care and assistance that would help prevent many of the reasons for readmission.
Private home care is available and is usually paid for by the patient or family but may be exactly what is needed to prevent return trips to the hospital. If you have long-term care insurance your policy may cover the cost. Regardless of who pays for it with the right plan of care and supervision services can be provided that greatly improve the chance that a patient will recover at home the first time and not be required to go back for more treatment.
Home care agencies can provide the following to help with recovery:
• Medication management and supervision to ensure regimen changes are adhered to
• Fall prevention to reduce the chance of re-injury
• Grocery shopping and preparation of balanced meals
• Assistance with personal care which helps prevent infections
• Transportation to doctor appointments, tests, and necessary follow up appointments
• Reinforcement of life style changes while family members are not at home to assist
• Early identification of complications or return of conditions
• Assistance with exercises prescribed by therapists
Home care assistance will not prevent all return trips to the hospital but it will greatly reduce the chance that someone needs to go back and/or reduce the length of the required stay if issues are indentified early. The key is the development of a proper plan of care by a registered nurse and periodic supervision to make sure the patient is following the plan.
Home care can be tailored to meet each patient’s specific needs from a few hours per day to 24/7. It can last for one day, one week, several months or long term depending on the individual and family. It can also start out with longer shifts and decrease as the patient improves and then be eliminated once they have recovered.
The moment we are born we begin the aging process. We have the weapon to fight disease and aging with something called superoxide dismutase. We get half of it from each of our parents. It’s our natural antioxidant that fights and neutralizes free-radicals.
In our population, 60% of us have only one functional superoxided dimutase gene and 20% have no functional gene. That is why introducing antioxidant formulas into our daily regimens is vitally important.
Antioxidants could be considered a sort of life insurance policy against aging and its visible effects. It’s a weapon in our arsenal to fight those pesky free radicals that rob us of a longer life expectancy. Antioxidants are our protectors and lower our risk of developing many diseases and illnesses
Free radicals are basically little marauders bouncing through our cells causing damage everywhere they go. You might wonder why and how they are formed in the first place. In our bodies we have a process called oxidation. It creates free radicals, and it goes on every day through our normal metabolic processes and through exposure to our environment.
Let’s compare our bodies to an automobile. Say you buy a beautiful, brand new car and with no thought to the consequences you leave it outside with the hood, trunk and doors open. Imagine you allow it to sit outside like that through every kind of weather imaginable. Eventually the car would begin to rust and one day it would be too late to repair. All you would have is a rusted heap of metal.
Our bodies are like that car in many ways. We too are a machine that needs to be well cared for. If we allow free radicals to run rampant through our bodies and do nothing about it we will have deterioration of our bones, joints and connective tissue. Our organs will wear out and our immune system will break down and become unable to “fight off disease and all the visible effects of the aging process. You could say we can “rust” just like than automobile.
This may sound very scary and perhaps that’s a good thing. It’s time to arm yourself with the information you’ll need to improve the health and wellness of yourself and your family.
Everything we do, from each breath we take, the food we eat and even the sun causes oxidation within our bodies and with it free radical formation.