Thursday, April 28, 2011
Many hospitals are now opening emergency rooms tailored exclusively to senior patients. Many seniors have a difficult time explaining their symptoms, and traditional ERs are not always equipped to spend the time and resources to discover a senior’s true ailment.
There are roughly twelve self-designated senior ERs in the U.S., but many estimate that number will grow as the number of seniors continues to rise. One estimate shows that one in every five Americans will be sixty-five or older by the year 2030.
Aside from tailoring care-giving techniques to senior patients, senior ERs also create a nurturing environment through the use of senior friendly amenities:
Mattresses are thicker, and patients who don't need to lay flat can opt for cushy reclining chairs instead....Nonskid floors guard against falls. Forms are printed in larger type, to help patients read their care instructions when it's time to go home. Pharmacists automatically check if patients' routine medications could cause dangerous interactions. A geriatric social worker is on hand to arrange for Meals on Wheels or other resources.
Some Hospitals Open ERs Just For Graying Patients, Associated Press, Mar. 14, 2011.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (WealthCounsel) for bringing this to my attention.