Age UK recently published the results of new research into unnecessary hospital admissions, and rates appear to be rising rapidly.
In today's blog, we'll take a look at the results of this research, why unnecessary hospital visits can be so damaging and what live-in care can do to reduce this risk.
What did Age UK find when they investigated unnecessary hospital admissions?
According to the results of the latest study from Age UK:
- 341,074 over 65s were admitted to hospital for avoidable reasons from April 2016-April 2017
- This is equivalent to approximately 1,000 older people being admitted to hospital unnecessarily each day
- Rates of unnecessary admissions have risen 107% among people aged 65-69 and 119% for people aged 75-79 since 2003
- In total, 42,000 'bed days' are currently being lost each month
- One-in-three over 65s live alone today, though this figure is expected to rise
For the purposes of this study, unnecessary hospital admissions were defined as those relating to situations whereby a visit could have been avoided had the person received a better standard of care.
Why are unnecessary hospital admissions such a risk?
Unnecessary hospital admissions are an unpleasant experience at any age, but can be especially problematic for older people.
Firstly, each unplanned hospital visit is likely to come with a degree of stress, and potentially confusion – especially if the person has a condition such as dementia.
Staying in hospital for any period of time increases the risk of acquiring a secondary infection. Rates of falls in hospitals – potentially resulting in injury – have also risen sharply in recent years.
Lastly, with health services increasingly stretched, admitting an older person unnecessarily will occupy a much-needed space that could have been used for someone with an unavoidable condition.
How live-in care helps reduce rates of unnecessary hospital admissions
With a dedicated care team on-hand to provide 24/7 support, live-in care has shown itself to be a hugely effective model when it comes to reducing unnecessary hospital admissions.
Advice on reducing risks
At The Good Care Group, our carers provide advice and recommendations on making the home a safe and accessible space.
One example of this is our innovative Falls Management Programme, which has been shown to reduce rates of falls by 97% within just a few months.
With someone there at all times, our carers are able to keep an eye out for any incidents, and observe the condition of our clients over time.
This enables them to take timely action in the event of an injury. It also gives them scope to arrange a visit from a medical professional before lesser conditions have a chance to develop. Or, to adapt care plans to suit changing needs.
Nurse-led care is one of the specialist services we offer at The Good Care Group. Typically used by people with complex needs, nurse-led care ensures oversight by a medically qualified nurse, resulting in:
- Effective monitoring of medical conditions
- Continuous assessment and early intervention where needed
- Comprehensive medication management
- Improved communication between healthcare professionals
With unnecessary hospital admissions on the rise, it helps to understand the differences between care models and how they provide support for older people.
Find out how live-in care helps prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and keeps older people safe in their own homes.