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Hospitalization Risk Meter

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Research conducted by Home Instead, Inc. uncovered the great potential in preventing many senior hospitalizations with early detection and proactive actions.

Further, 99% of nurses surveyed said the role the family plays is as important as the role played by health care professionals.

Recognizing these potential risks will help you provide great support to your loved one, with the aim of keeping them healthy and out of the hospital.

Risks can vary from low to high. But any risk, no matter how seemingly minor, could quickly become a high risk if left unattended.

Engage with the Hospitalization Risk Meter* to learn more about 10 factors that may pose low, moderate and high risk for potential hospitalization.

*Please note that the content included in this interactive Hospitalization Risk Meter is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be construed as being medical advice or a substitute for receiving professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified medical provider for any questions you or a loved one may have regarding a medical condition. Home Instead, Inc. and the Home Instead® franchise and master franchise network expressly disclaim any liability with respect to the content in this interactive Hospitalization Risk Meter.

Last revised: January 19, 2015

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. May 18, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Posted by Ellen Dodge

    I am healthy at 71; my husband has mild-mid level Alzheimer's. I need to set up a care plan for him if I die and am ill before he himself dies. I've been searching the Internet for a simple Check List for making a plan for his care. Do I arrange with neighbors and/or friends to step into his life for the interim? Do I put him on a waiting list at Alzheimer's Care facilities? Has anyone any information? We have Financial, Health & Legal Powers of Attorney in place for me and my husband. We have no living children to step in if I'm out of the picture. Would love to hear from you. and Thanks! Ellen


  2. February 24, 2015 at 9:21 am | Posted by Wendy

    My husband is 63 with dementia having been diagnosed well over a year ago, I am finding the mood swings, verbally, and some physalis aggression. I am the only person to take of him, but am going to have to go to work, he says he wants to be placed in a home, is this the dementia speaking as well. He is angry, his license is gone, he is also a diabetic, all things said and done...I too am getting tired and don't like the verbal abuse is hard


    • March 1, 2015 at 3:26 am | Posted by Karen

      For the lady whose husband is aggressive.... Does your husband's Dr know he is aggressive and having mood swings ? My husband has the same Alzheimer's symptoms so his Dr prescribed Zoloft along with Aricept which has helped tremendously. If your husband's Dr does not specialize in Alzheimer's then find one who does. Many Alzheimer's patients are not treated effectively without a Specialist. Perferabky a Geriatric doctor.


      • March 17, 2015 at 10:30 pm | Posted by Linda Mueller

        You should put him in a home if he has mood swings and aggressive. I went through this with my husband and by putting him in a home it relieved a lot of stress and let's you live again...I could not have dealt with this for eleven years without help...He will get out of control more and more. So do not feel bad by finding the best home for him...


    • November 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Posted by Amber

      I am so sorry to hear this about your husband it's very hard to handle from both parties. I'm a caregiver and I have worked with clients that have Dementia for a year now. Some of it is the dementia talking . However he can see how hard it is on you and most of them don't want there spouse to help them. If he is getting to the point that he is getting angry a lot more, and is being aggressive it is probably time that he goes to an Assistant living facility. They are all trained for that they will be able to help him with what he needs help with. They tend to be calmer at a Assistant living facility or with a in home caregiver.


  3. February 21, 2015 at 2:20 am | Posted by sue adams

    As a nurse I have heard this and seen this more than you could imagine. As The parent gets older they regress to a more child like attitude. Think of a child who doesn't know to say thank you or please. Their mind doesn't work as well and they forget things. They also get tired of being sick. I remember my mother being in the hospital several times she finally asked me if it would be ok to quit treating her and letting her be a DNR. I told her that had to be her decisions. She had enough of her mind left that she made the choice. OUR YOU KEEPING HER ALIVE FOR YOU OR IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT.? She has lived her life it's ok to bring in Hospice and keep her comfortable. Does she have a living will. ?It is very stressful to be the only caretaker. It is ok to let them go. I hope this helps


  4. February 15, 2015 at 9:30 am | Posted by [email protected]

    I am trying to keep my Mother out of hospitals. It's very hard sometimes. You can't beat an infection on your own when it is severe. I bring her home between intravenous. I don't let her sleep there unless I stay too. I watch what they give her. To a certain extent, one has to let go. I think I'll know when that time comes. For now, I feel I might be able to save myself from the ravages of stress. I had a brief massage yesterday that freed up my breathing. I will make a point of having professional massages done regularly. I slipped off the wagon while being a caregiver so many years. Take good care of yourself.


  5. February 14, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Posted by Sarah

    I am the only child and sole caregiver for my 93 year old parent. She is presently in the hospital recovering from Influenza a, MRSA, a urinary tract infection and copd. She is on oxygen for the copd at this time. She is anxious to come home and yet shows me absolutely no appreciation for all that I do for her. She will tell you she wants for NOTHING. I am burnt out, exhausted and tired of being unappreciated. A simple thank you goes a long way with me. I also work full time 12 hour shifts days and nights. I am just tired and frustrated... :(


    • February 16, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Posted by Mary Ann Ladd

      Know that when she passes away, you will never have any regrets. Your mother is incapable of showing appreciation now. Perhaps you could hire someone for a few hours a week to relieve your stress.


    • March 1, 2015 at 3:30 am | Posted by Karen

      Having COPD can make a person cranky. Irritability is a symptom of low oxygen. Just tell yourself this is not your normal Mom, she is having symptoms of all that is failing in her body. Is she on an anti depressant?


    • March 14, 2015 at 9:59 am | Posted by Jody Collier-Kruse

      My heart goes out to you. You are responsible for yourself first & foremost. Make sure that you are doing something's to take care of yourself/coffee with a friend, a massage or take in a movie with someone else. Also, I agree with the person who said to consider hiring someone to come in & help out a couple times a weak. You deserve that break & don't let anyone try to guilt you. Your mother is lucky that she has you! Jody from Mound


  6. February 9, 2015 at 9:18 am | Posted by Robert Hyska



  7. February 5, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Posted by Harry W. Jell

    I'm a 90 year old caregiver for my 55 year old son with cerebral palsy and occasional epileptic seizures. My wife of 57 years and I cared for him from birth until her death seven years ago. I nearly lost it after her death. Now I am alone. I mean REALLY ALONE. No one to back me up. Only grandchild married, moved from close by to 100 miles away. I have health issues of my own. But am on duty 24/7 with no relief. I am burned out. Worry what will happen to him if I become disabled. Even worse, die. Very possible at my age. We are still living independently in our home. We refuse assisted living. Where's all the help I read about? Mostly for kids with disabled parents. Very, very little for the direct opposite. HWJ


    • February 5, 2015 at 11:51 pm | Posted by Sandi

      You refused ass't living. WHY!!! It is time to reconsider that option. The sooner the better. It will be good for you and your son. Good luck to you and God Bless


    • February 6, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Posted by Blanche Katz

      Hi HWJ, My suggestion is that you contact a CP Association ASAP and make arrangements to get any help that they offer as if you were already out of commission. Please let your family know what you are doing while they do live at some distance away. There is no reason to keep your arrangements a secret. Perhaps, one of your relatives will volunteer to take over as DPOA for Health Care and Financial Affairs. Another suggestion: Contact an Assisted Living facility and compare how they would be able to help you to take care of your son with CP before you make any decision. Questions: Is your son have any health insurance? Medicare? Social Security Disability? Qualify for Medicaid? These entities do have plans for long-term care that will probably take over when you pass away; why not make the plans for his care before you depart. LOTSA HUGS! Blanche


    • February 11, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Posted by Emilie

      Does your son need help with bathing, dressing, medication management, transfers? Is his income pretty low, below $1400 per month? If so, he may be eligible for a state home care waiver program for person's under the age of 60. Not every state has these programs, but it is worth checking. Check with your county or state Department of Jobs and Family Services (once known as welfare) which is Medicaid. This program helps provide services in the home to help him, which will help you. It is very important that you do make plans for your son. If there is no home care program in your state to help, then unless you will be willing him lots of inheritance so he can stay in the home with private duty care, making plans for a facility to care for him is a must. Choosing one that you like will be better than letting the chips fall where they may. Will he need a guardian? If so, you need to check with the county probate court about any guardianship and payee programs available in your area. In the meantime, hiring or arranging for outside help through any programs available to stay with him now so you can rejuvenate, will keep you healthier and alive longer.


    • February 15, 2015 at 8:49 pm | Posted by Woody Shoemaker

      Sir, I lost my wife seven years ago and am alone; except for the Lord. He is a great comfort. I would come over and help you if I lived close to you. Woody


    • February 28, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Posted by jere

      If you both went into assisted living together, you would still be together...and when you are no longer able to care for him, he will have already adjusted to his new environment. And you will be able to choose the facility...seems like that is what would be best for him...and you, in the long run. Think about what's holding you back from assisted living & how you might be able to "get past" some of those hurdles. I would suggest talking to a social worker who might be able to assist you in thinking this through.


  8. February 4, 2015 at 1:48 pm | Posted by Verna Allen

    I will be 83 next month. I am living in an Independent living apartment in Vancouver, WA. I am from Oklahoma City, OK and feel like a foreigner here. After my 2nd husband died at 101, my daughter wanted me to move here. She takes me to the store and to the VA hospital. As a veteran, I don't have to worry about getting good health care. I use a walker when I leave the apartment and a cane in the apartment. My main problem is I don't have any close friends here, so I spend a lot of time in my apartment except for bible study and bingo. I have written some books, but they are not doing well. I don't write the stuff that most people these days want to read. But my faith in God keeps me going. I hope all you find a way to cope with aging. Verna Allen.


    • February 4, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Posted by Aaron Ainbinder

      Is there any chance that your daughter would have you move in with her? It is most important to awaken each morning with a sense of purpose and value, to yourself and to others. Sadly, most often when it comes to caring for our elders, safety is the primary consideration. While this is, of course, important, it is not as important as considering what is of greatest importance to our elders. What are your interests and desires? What would you like to be doing, and with whom? What do you still have to teach you daughter and others? Staying like a prisoner in an assisted living center is, all too often, like being in jail. I hope and pray that G-d directs you to a way to break out. I have been providing solo full-time caregiving for my 84 year old Mom for almost two years now. It requires me to put aside other interests and activities, but it has freed my hands for better work and deeper gratitude for the gifts that G-d provides. A primary focus of mine is directing each day so that Mom participates in something that is meaningful to her and helpful to others. It can be done. Please consider having a discussion with your daughter.


    • February 6, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Posted by Blanche Katz

      Hi Verna, Is there any Senior Center near by? They can always use someone like you in their facility as a volunteer. Perhaps they have a "Meals-On-Wheels" nutrition program or an exercise/dance program that needs volunteers. Inquire at your local library for a reading program with the local elementary schools. Or any other way you can get out to meet others. Lotsa Hugs! Blanche


    • February 11, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Posted by Emilie

      It has been said it takes 2 years to make friends in a new community. Relationships take time to grow. You've joined 2 groups and that is a good start. It is possible that someone in Bible study will become a friend. Invite different ones over for lunch or to do an activity together. At BINGO, try chatting with different people with the hope you will meet someone you will click with. Are there other groups? Is there something at church you could volunteer doing with others? What about a prayer group?


    • February 15, 2015 at 9:23 am | Posted by [email protected]

      My heart goes out to you. I can't imagine moving away from home later in life. I have my 77 year old Mother living with me after a long life of success and independence. She lost my Dad in 2007, and her health plummeted into the world of dementia. She has gone through hell, and myself with her in the process. If it is any help at all to you, you are keeping your child healthier with less worry being closer in distance. If my Mother was far away sick or not sick, in our aging lives together, I would not function well at all. I am already having a very difficult time at close distance. Keep writing. Vincent Van Gogh didn't know that his work would eventually be worth millions. No one wanted it when he was alive. Enjoy your writing. It will mean so much to your children to know you are happy.


  9. February 4, 2015 at 11:36 am | Posted by sandy gretsinger

    My husband was admitted to hospital on Dec.13, 2014 . He was being treated for bronchitis and dehydration. He had severe dementia. He passed away on Dec. 24, 2014. I visited him every day and never saw him out of bed.So heavily medicated that he seldom spoke. He did know me but in general just slept.He was only 71 years old andI feel like half of me is gone.Rest in peace, My Bill.


    • February 4, 2015 at 10:46 pm | Posted by Aaron Ainbinder

      Sandy - may your husband's memory always be for a blessing to you. Have you read "Passages in Caregiving" by Gail Sheehy? I recommend the read. I hope you have a Rabbi or other clergy of your beliefs to help guide you through the grieving process.


    • February 15, 2015 at 9:27 am | Posted by [email protected]

      So very sad. I commented above that my Mother went downhill so fast when my Dad passed away. She is now 77years old and entering the severe stages of dementia. We thought she had Alzheimer's, not it could be more than one type of dementia. She used to say, "I wish we could have gone together...." My husband and I took her to movies, parties, and kept her close to us. It's never the same as life with your spouse. Try to cultivate some happiness every day if you can. You are still here for a reason. That other half that you have lost is still alive in spirit. I know my Dad is still around. I just can't see him.


  10. February 3, 2015 at 8:50 am | Posted by LORD N R NEEDHAM.



  11. January 28, 2015 at 10:36 am | Posted by Don

    On Sept 27, 2014 I lost my beautiful wife of 50 years to Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson's. She was doing very well in November of 2013. On Nov 3 of 2013 I found her non-responsive and had to call 9-11. I could not wake her or get her body to respond to me. At the ER they said the medication Seroquel had caused this. Could have been but not sure. They kept my wife who went into the hospital able to speak, eat, body functions etc all by herself. On Nov 7 when she came out she could no longer walk, talk with much sense, eat or anything. I have read in many places that Hospital stays with dementia will take a patient down the path faster then anything. I have to agree with that but with doctors that do not come to the house we are in a rock and a hard place. In any event, keep your loved ones at home as much as you possibly can. Caregivers are a blessing. Most are very confident and can provide assistance. Especialy if they are CNA's. They seems to know what to do.


    • February 4, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Posted by Verna Allen

      Hi, Don, I have a friend who is in an assistant living place along with his wife. She has dementia and he has a lot of physical problems. We email. He tells me about how she is doing and he is not too happy with it. I don't want to go to one of those places. I would rather have home care. Even being absent minded at times, I don't think I will get dementia at this late date. I hope not. Take care, put your trust in God. Verna


    • February 4, 2015 at 10:51 pm | Posted by Aaron Ainbinder

      Hi, Don. I absolutely agree that staying out of hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities is of primary importance. Ideally, a family caregiver would be available to us all in our closing chapters, but we seem to have structured our culture in such a way that this is not a frequent occurrence. When my Mom had a stroke, in March of 2013, I spent countless hours in her hospital room and it quickly became apparent that without a family member, or close trusted friend, in the room at all times, problems can occur which can be devastating. Most doctors and nurses mean well, to be sure, but their egos do not allow them to listen to a family member very often. If, G-d forbid, my Mom has to go back into a hospital for any short period of time, I will not leave her unattended at all, either by me or a close and strong-willed friend. Never.


  12. January 22, 2015 at 11:19 am | Posted by Jeannine Veillet

    Je suis [ag/e de 80 ans et je demeure seule, mais mon fils qui ne demeure pas loin vient me voir r/guli[erement en semaine et toutes les fins de semaines et m<apporte tout ce dont j<ai besoin. J<ai un mal de cou qui m</tourdie et me d/balance completement, beaucoup de s/cretions gastriques qui m<empechent de dormir et souvent me donne mal au coeur, je fais aussi une retention d eau dans la jamabe droite tout particulierement. J<aimerais savoir s<il n y aurait pas un moyen d avoir quelqu<un a la maison au besoin pour m/nage et commissions. Pour la nourriture j<ai tout ce qu il me faut, je fais affaire avec la popote volante et me nourris de bons repas pr/pares a la maison. Dans le moment je ne peux pas conduire ma voiture et ne sors pas de crainte de tomber sur la glace et que personne ne me voit. J<aimerais savoir ce que vous me suggeriez de faire et ce que vous pourriez faire pour moi. Je vous remercie a l<avance en attendant de vos nouvelles.


    • January 28, 2015 at 10:37 am | Posted by Don

      Canthis be translated?


      • January 28, 2015 at 10:57 am | Posted by Cat Koehler

        Here's the best I could do, Don: I am age 80 and I live alone, but my son who does not live far regularly comes to see me during the week and all weekends and brings me everything I need . I have sore neck and ... me completely , many gastric secretions that prevent me from sleeping and often not give my heart , I also make a retention of water in the ... there would be no a way to have someone at home as needed... For food I have all that I need , I deal with Meals on Wheels and fed me good food s at home. At the moment I can not drive my car and do not go out for fear of falling on the ice and no one sees me . I 'd like you to suggest me to do and what you could do for me. Thank you all in advance pending from you. Cat Koehler Social Media Advocate Home Instead


  13. January 21, 2015 at 8:45 pm | Posted by Nora Buziak

    just checking this out I'm not that age yet but would like to know all the step's


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