Informal caregivers can provide the kind of help necessary to prevent people from needing a return visit to the hospital according to a study in the October-December issue of Advances in Nursing Science. The study looked at factors that lead to repeated hospital admissions for 1,268 elderly patients receiving home healthcare and found that patients who received care from family members or other informal caregivers were less likely to be readmitted. As one might expect, the greater the difference between the patient’s ability to function and his or her clinical condition the more likely the patient was to be readmitted. According to the study’s authors, the implications suggest strategies to reduce unnecessary rehospitalizations and improve the quality of home healthcare. You can find the article here. Informal caregivers are a significant part of the solution for reducing healthcare costs but they need additional support. A good geriatric care manager can help family members provide that support and by doing so help the patient remain in their own homes.