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Puzzle: Avoiding a Return Trip to the Hospital

It’s pretty discouraging to be discharged from the hospital, only to make a return trip when you have a problem with your medication, you fall because you aren’t fully recovered from an injury, or you suffer the aftereffects of delirium, which is a temporary state of confusion that mimics dementia and might even have long-term effect on your ability to live independently.

Experts report that many patients today, especially seniors, are released at a point when they still need quite a bit of assistance. The American Geriatrics Society confirms that older people are discharged, as the saying goes, “quicker and sicker”—and so, they have a high rate of rehospitalization. Northwestern University professor Dr. Lee Ann Lindquist said, “When the senior is no longer sick enough to be in the hospital, it doesn’t mean they’re 100 percent ready to be on their own. It’s a critical time and they need extra support and understanding from healthcare professionals and families.”

To learn more, read “Planning Ahead: Tips for Returning Home from the Hospital and Avoiding Readmission” in the March 2017 issue of AgeWise King County, and “Personal Safety Nets Help Patients Recover and Reduce Hospital Readmissions” in the January 2014 issue. In addition, it is helpful to review the Self-Management Plans and warning flags for a variety of common chronic conditions available on the Aging and Disability Services website. If one of the conditions listed applies to you, print the four-page handout and discuss it with your health care provider.


This month’s puzzle contains 20 elements of successful recovery after a hospital stay. Click here to download your copy.

Need a little help? Click here for the solution to the puzzle.

Source: IlluminAge Communication Partners; copyright 2017 IlluminAge

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