Even as we age, most of us still maintain a strong desire to live independently. One obstacle that often gets in the way, however, is hospitalization. And with hospitalization for any reason comes the increased likelihood of readmission within a 30-day period.

Where you live has significant impact on readmission to the hospital. According to one study, readmission within 30 days of discharge for a medically necessary procedure for someone living in the Bronx, N.Y., is 18.1 percent, while Ogden, Utah, was at the low end of the readmission scale at just 11.4 percent. The national average stood at 15.9 percent, with Buffalo, N.Y. coming in slightly below the average of the land. When surgery is involved, the national average for hospital readmission is 12.4 percent, with Buffalo coming in just slightly lower at 12.3 percent.

What can be done to lessen the likelihood of readmission? When the hospitalized individual is a senior citizen, a proactive caregiver who is actively involved in overseeing the recovery process will dramatically increase the patient’s ability to maintain independence.

Websites such as www.eldercare.gov provide an incredible amount of helpful information for older Americans and their caregivers. And when it comes to your health, or the health of a loved one, such resources can be lifesaving!