Helping Older Adults Thrive After Hospital Stays
A crucial piece of care is missing for older adults in our healthcare system. Without it, 1 in 7 older adults are at-risk of readmitting to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. The missing piece is follow up care.
For example, nearly half of American adults have trouble understanding how to take their medications, according to the Institute of Medicine. During a hospitalization and rehabilitation stay, medication regimens may change. Once a client returns home, coordinating the new and old regimens can be confusing. How can Augustana Care help older adults stay out of the hospital and stay away from what's become a roller coaster of medical crises?
This question led Augustana Care to team up with home care provider Lifesprk to assist older adults when they leave hospitals or rehabilitation centers. Together, we started a program called “Thrive On @ Home.” Led by Lyn Lais, the program aims to close the gaps between hospitalizations and aftercare by improving individual experience, improving the health of our population, and reduce the cost of healthcare. The program has seen 140 people enrolled since the fall of 2015.
Of those 140 people in the program, only 6 were readmitted - which equals out to a 65% drop from the national average of readmissions. These results show us that the cycle of hospital admissions and readmissions can be broken with a new focus on whole-person aftercare treatment. Once the cycle is broken, older adults will be able to live longer, fuller, and healthier lives upon discharge. That is the ultimate goal of the partnership between Augustana Care and Lifesprk.