Adults aged 65 and older account for one third of all hospitalizations in the United States.(1) Almost one fifth (19.6%) of Medicare beneficiaries discharged from an acute care hospital are readmitted within 30 days.(2) High readmission rates have been attributed to inadequate discharge preparation, lack of patient and family caregiver readiness, poor discharge transition coordination, and unsuccessful coping with the demands of daily living.(3-9) Discharge needs may be different for older adults than for the general population because of the increased likelihood of multiple comorbidities, illness-induced limitations, impaired mobility, fatigue, anxiety, cognitive impairment, hearing impairments, health literacy deficits, and living alone.(7,8,10-12) The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in perceptions of the quality of discharge teaching and readiness for hospital discharge and their relationship to postdischarge utilization of emergency department (ED) visits and readmissions across the older adult age spectrum. Of particular interest is the applicability of quality of discharge teaching and discharge readiness assessment tools for the older adult population.
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