For seniors, hospitalization can be stressful, to say the least. There are financial concerns along with the emotional and physical stresses that come with being ill or injured. It can truly take a toll on an older adult, and unfortunately there’s now a new stress to add to the list. According to recent findings from Yale researchers in Science Daily, there’s a link between acute hospitalizations and the progression and development of disability.
The study followed over 500 seniors age 70+ on a monthly basis, collecting details on their health and functional status for 15 years – including information on hospitalizations and the ability to perform activities of daily living. Researchers then outlined six different levels of disability in a progressive scale, from fully functional through very severely disabled.
The resulting data showed an undisputed link between hospitalizations and levels of disability in the last year of life. According to Thomas M. Gill, M.D., professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine, “These results suggest that the disabling process in the last year of life is strongly influenced by the occurrence of acute hospitalizations.” In other words, being sicker or disabled appeared to be made worse by actually being hospitalized in some cases.
Physicians and family caregivers of the elderly should consider these findings in determining the appropriate type of care to avoid acute hospitalizations, whether that might mean restorative intervention, or palliative care.
At AAging Better In-Home Care, we are committed to making transitions as least stressful as possible. Our skilled nurses and caregivers can assist post-hospitalization with medication assistance, bathing dressing, cooking or transportation, to name a few, on an hourly or live-in basis. The client or his or her family drives what services are needed or desired, and we do the rest. If you or your loved one resides in North Idaho and would like to learn more about what we can do to assist, contact us today for a free in-home assessment.