Hospitalization can be a traumatic experience for seniors due to the risk of functional decline. In a study by Scielo, 28% of older adults lost functional capacity 15 to 30 days after being admitted into the hospital. The reason why the elderly pose such a risk of functional decline during hospitalization is because of severe illnesses and decreased mobility from bedrest which also causes pressure injuries, pain, dehydration and malnutrition. Without the ability to be mobile and active the elderly are prone to longer hospital stays and the need for rehab. Moreover, being discharged from the hospital can cause transfer trauma which is also known as the stress that a person may experience when changing living environments.
Before we dive deep into this article, we suggest that you also read our blog post on, Preventing Hospitalization of Seniors. This piece explains the importance of practicing proper observation techniques to eliminate unnecessary rehospitalizations. Furthermore, it is important to know how hospitalization impacts the elderly and what strategies have been identified to reduce worsening hospital stays.