4 Reasons Your Grandma Will Go Back to the Hospital

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Your grandmother just came home from the hospital after being treated for a heart attack. Thank goodness she’s doing OK! She’s back home and the family breathes a sigh of relief as they come down from DEFCON 1.


Here’s the problem though, there is a 1 in 5 chance she will be readmitted to the hospital within the next 30 days… for problems related to that heart attack!


There are 4 reasons she is at risk:

Medication Management/Compliance

Let’s face it — she is terrible and remembering to take her meds on time. In fact, sometimes she forgets if she already took them or not! Well, this is the main reason for going back to the hospital, and it’s 100% avoidable.

Follow-up Appointments

So she may forget to write down her doctor’s appointment and not show up, or maybe she just didn’t tell anyone and doesn’t have a ride. Either way, a majority of seniors don’t make their follow-up appointments and their physician doesn't catch possible issues that may be brewing, which is a perfect recipe for readmission.

Nutrition Management

Ever notice what your grandmother eats (or doesn’t eat)? It’s not a stretch to say that poor nutrition is a major cause for a return trip downtown. Without proper eating, our bodies have a hard time recovering and healing, especially from a serious condition. Those TV dinners are not doing anyone any favors!

Follow-up On Warning Signs

That discomfort your grandmother is complaining about is probably not “nothing” like she says it is. When she feels it while everyone is at work during the day, and does nothing about it, we could be facing some serious trouble. Not catching those warning signs is pretty serious and accounts for many seniors going back to the hospital.


So, how do we keep Grandma out of the hospital?


There is no questions that an active family presence is absolutely the best medicine, especially after a hospital visit. But let’s be realistic. You work. You’re parents either work or can’t help. Quite honestly, one thing we have learned is that the emotional tax of caring for your loved ones is severe and often times causes health problems for the family caregiver. Check out caregiverstress.com for more on that.


One solution is bringing in outside help. A professional caregiver can reduce the likelihood of your grandmother being readmitted (up to 90% less likely) in 5 simple and effective steps


  • Help secure a safe and clean environment

  • Pick up prescriptions and provide those medication reminders

  • Grocery shopping and prepare nutritious meals that help rebuild her strength and health

  • Communicate with the family and keep them up to speed with changes and conditions

  • Engage with Grandma and know what’s going on during the healing process


At the end of the day, we know that the health of your loved ones is important and as they age, caring for them can be extremely stressful. If you have questions or just need someone to listen, there are resources out there for you. Shoot, we have a 24 hour support line for people in that very situation (888.741.5172).​


What’s most important is that you get help early on. That is why we exist in the first place. Our story is not too different from yours, except it happened over 20 years ago.


Get informed, and get help! For more information on this issue, check out ReturningHome.com.

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