Senior medical care has become more and more complex and difficult to manage. As hospital visits and admissions become more frequent, overall health can decline as a result of even a brief hospitalization stay. Hospitalization is sometimes necessary for seniors but is not always free of risk.
Episodes of confusion (delirium) is a common feature in hospitalized elderly.In a hospital setting, patients are subject to unfamiliar sounds, medical tests, and schedule disruptions that contribute to disorientation and delirium.Delirium is treatable and often reversible, it can sometimes linger for a long time and possibly reset one’s mental function at a lower baseline. Delirium can be caused from several reasons:
- Unfamiliar Environment
- Unfamiliar sleep and wake schedule due to consistent vital check
- Medications for pain and sedation which can alter thoughts and mental judgment
- Sensory and Sleep deprivation caused by florescent lighting and unfamiliar sounds
- Intravenous lines, urinary catheters, and other medical devices attached to the body
Other potential dangers of hospitalization of seniors:
- Hospital environment infections
- Medication and procedure related side effects and complications
- Interaction between home medications and new hospital drugs
- General decline in function and deconditioning
- Falls and injuries
Although there are many problems that seniors may encounter, both in and out of the hospital, understanding the problems and then forming a plan to address them is a first large step in making the senior years still productive and enjoyable. Seniors should consider finding a geriatrician who is a specialist in the care of seniors to help manage their specific medical concerns and foreseeing problems and minimizing risk.
See how Choice Matters Home Healthcare can help you and your loved one while in the hospital with our hopital sitter services.
1. Blue Sea Care