Articles and Stories

The Illness Is Bad Enough. The Hospital Visit May Be Even Worse.

The elderly are particularly vulnerable to “post-hospital syndrome,” some experts believe, and that may be why so many patients return. They believe it underlies the stubbornly high rate of hospital readmissions among older patients. In 2016, about 18 percent of discharged Medicare beneficiaries returned to the hospital within 30 days, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

We all know a loved one (or had the misfortune of it being us) who was admitted to a hospital for a serious illness. Even after discharge, the stress and disruptions of hospitalization — interrupted sleep, weight loss, mild delirium, deconditioning caused by days in bed — left us disoriented and weakened, a vulnerable state some researchers call “post hospital syndrome“. Reduced muscle mass and poor balance following even a few days in bed. New prescriptions with unpredictable consequences. Shared rooms. Delirium. Pain. It affects your hormones, your metabolism, your immune system – all having widespread effects leaving you less able to stave off other health threats. These hospitalizations can lead to big life changes, with some opting to live with their children.

Compassion House Calls was formed in large part to help during this time – our RN coordinator will contact you to schedule a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner to visit in your home. They will review your list of medications, how well you are adjusting to life back at home, if you understand your discharge instructions and are able to follow through on them. You are able to continue your treatments during this time of serious illness, we just provide an extra layer of support to help you recover more quickly and stay at home.

Read more about post hospital syndrome and one person’s experience.