It’s Medicare open enrollment time! From October 15 to December 7, adults age 65 and over need to select the type of Medicare plan they want for 2019. Since there are more choices than ever, it's important to review your options carefully before making a decision.
While your patients are in your care, you provide them with quality nutrition care. But, what happens when they go home?
Many transitional care plans may be missing an important piece – nutrition care. Providing access to food allows the frail and elderly to regain their strength and energy faster. Proper nutrition for those at risk improves patient outcomes following surgery or hospitalization.
Addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) is increasingly important to hospitals and healthcare systems. In fact, medical care determines only 20 percent of overall health -- while social, economic, and environmental factors determine 50 percent of overall health. Extending ways to help patients stay healthy outside the hospital can help patients, communities, and hospitals. SDOH include all factors outside of the hospital that affects patients, such as:
Hospitals face many challenges when patients are discharged. Some concerns include if patients understand their care plan and need for follow up appointments. Will your patients have access to healthy meals when they return home? What if they are unable to shop or prepare meals for themselves?
When patients go into the hospital, one thing they may not expect is to leave malnourished. But, that is what occurs to one-third of patients admitted to hospitals. Malnutrition is not always recognized and often goes untreated during hospitalization. Weight loss and inadequate nutritional intake can delay the healing and recovery process. This may lead to more challenging recoveries, and in many cases, relapse and readmission.
Nutrition Care Can Reduce Hospital Admissions
Health care professionals are always looking for better ways to keep members out of the hospital and to reduce their length of stay. Yet, the role of nutrition remains poorly understood by providers, administrators, and payers. One of the leading causes for readmission to the hospital is malnutrition.
Adopting a positive attitude can go far in dealing with the changes associated with aging. In fact, according to Kaiser Health News, those who have a positive outlook on aging live 7.5 years longer. Studies show that older adults who hold negative stereotypes about aging tend to walk more slowly, experience memory problems, and recover less fully from a fall or fracture.
Is this how you are delivering meals to your seniors?
One of the foremost challenges facing seniors aging in place in rural areas is food safety. In this context, food safety includes satisfactory dietary requirements, reliable food intake, proper food storage, transport, and handling. For seniors to receive proper nutrition, each of these areas must be adequately satisfied. Luckily, home meal delivery services tailored to seniors, like SimpleCook™, make health and nutrition easy and efficient.
February is American Heart Month! It is an excellent time to take charge of your health. Regular visits to your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol are simple ways to know your risk factors for heart disease. In fact, 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable through education and action.
The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is the lifeblood for most seniors in the United States today. The AAA has the mission of helping seniors age in place, and they face a growing senior population to serve.
These organizations have to care for more seniors with smaller budgets and increasingly are turning to volunteers to get the job done. Volunteers are quickly becoming the backbone of the agency, but volunteering across the US is declining.
Those enrolled in original Medicare could be pleased to learn about the benefits of switching to a Medicare Advantage plan.