How Illness or Hospitalization Can Cause a Decline in Function
By RMS Consultations
September 10, 2021
Category: Health
Tags: Illness   Hospitalization  

Older adults are often most at risk for physical and mental decline due to chronic illnesses and long hospital stays.

When we are dealing with a serious illness, the first place we turn to is hospitals. A hospital is a symbol of healing and health; however, sometimes staying at a hospital can actually lead to a decline in a person’s health and functionality. Here at RMS Consultation, we understand all too well how a long-term illness or hospitalization can lead to a functional decline, especially in the elderly. Our Southfield, MI, doctor Dr. Antoine Geffrard works one-on-one with his patients to map out a strategy of continuous care post-hospitalization or illness to make sure that they get back on track, health-wise.

Types of Functional Decline

As we get older we may face functional decline as a result of age. Some of the most common types include:

  • Bone weakening or fracturing due to conditions such as osteoporosis
  • Balance issues
  • Memory loss
  • Hearing loss and other issues
  • Vision problems (e.g. cataracts; glaucoma)

Unfortunately, other chronic conditions or being hospitalized can make these issues worse.

How Hospitalization Impacts Functional Decline

Any type of extended stay in a hospital can impact a person’s health and functionality, especially seniors. This is due to several factors:

  • Immobilization is one of the top reasons. Most patients are sedentary, which can make balance issues even worse. While bed rest may help a patient heal, it can also cause a loss of strength and muscle mass.
  • With the drop in blood pressure, due to lying in bed, patients may also experience dizziness upon standing, which can also increase their risk for falls.
  • Sleep problems or disturbances are also common, as patients are often woken up by hospital noises and nighttime monitoring and checkups.
  • Not getting the proper nutrition or the number of calories they need to feel and function at their best.

How We Can Help

We understand the toll that a long-term illness or hospitalization can take on a patient, particularly the elderly. There are steps that our Southfield, MI, doctor can take to make sure that you are getting the proper care, medication, and treatment you deserve to help you get back on your feet. Here at RMS Consultations, we can:

  • Discuss and fully understand a patient’s health concerns and current healthcare needs
  • Assess a patient’s ability to function and perform everyday activities
  • Evaluate balance and coordination issues
  • Recommend assistive devices such as physical therapy, canes, or walkers to reduce fall risk
  • Provide dietary advice to improve caloric intake and to ensure that patients are getting the appropriate nutrition at home to improve their health and strength
  • Monitor a patient’s current medications and discuss other medication options if these prescriptions aren’t providing the patient with adequate symptom control
  • Work with a patient’s entire medical team, from physical therapists and primary care doctors to specialists, to ensure that they are getting the most comprehensive care possible

If you or a loved one is dealing with challenges following a long illness or hospitalization, know that you aren’t alone. Here at RMS Consultations, Dr. Geffrard and his team here at their Southfield, MI, practice can offer you the treatment and care you need. To schedule an evaluation call (248) 663-5353 today.