Displaying items by tag: healthcare for seniors

Tuesday, 08 October 2019 21:51

ED for Seniors?

ScreenHunter 522 Apr 22 1616

 

Today there are emergency departments designed especially for children. These are set up differently with specific and adjacent waiting areas. The staff are well-educated in the illnesses of children.

At the VA, there are specific mental health sectors in the ED to deal with traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and a host of illnesses that are best treated without visibility to the typical ED patients and families. Behavioral health has become synonomous with privacy and specific treatment regimes. At the very least, a standard ED department should have a mental health professional on staff at all times.

Why then, do we not provide a specialty ED for those over the age of 65? With the changing demographics of the US population and seniors predicted to out-number our children in the next 9 years, it is highly likely that senior ED's will be the norm. Seniors require medical staff with knowledge of their lifestyles and characteristic ailments. Gerontologists need to evaluate the patients and determine if they are capable of making their own medical decisions. If not, the families and caregivers need to be incorporated in treatment programs.

In her blog post, Anne-Marie Botek, listed the senior emergency room design offering:

  • Floors with more traction and less glare
  • Lighting that is gentler on elderly eyes
  • Reclining chairs and mattresses designed to lessen pressure
  • Personal rooms for patients
  • Telephones, clocks and documents with larger print
  • Blankets warmed in ovens
  • Equipment to aid in hearing/communication between patient and health professional

What if families are far away? Teleconferences with families need to be immediately available. It is possible that Dad or Grandad has chosen to hide his medical condition from his family. This is his decision, but staff are there to explain and prepare him for what lies ahead as his illness progresses. Plans need to be made for caregivers if he needs help.

The idea of self-contained "Senior Emergency Medicine Clinics" seems feasible and necessary. If this is not enacted, those 65 and over will impede the flow of the typical ED and cause the ED's to reach capacity with regularity. The solution is as simple as a re-direction of the group to a more resourceful staff at a facility built specifically for their needs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the good news is that more than 50 geriatric emergency departments have earned the Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) and 100 more ED's are in the process of accreditation.
Friday, 10 May 2019 19:14

The Influx of Boomers' Effect on HC

ScreenHunter 524 Apr 22 1616

 

There are 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day for the next 20 years.

What it means for healthcare is an influx of acute care needs inside the hospital and an increased demand for telehealth access, mental health treatment, and emergency room visits. Medical office visits will increase in the areas of heart health, bone health, and cancer treatment.

In addition, people are living longer and wellness is a very real trend to consider for the over 65 crowd. A hospital near me has opened up a brand new senior center within 5 minutes of my house. It offers a gym, line dancing classes, a pickle ball court, and yoga. The cost to join is very reasonable and most classes are free with membership.

The design of these facilities are influenced by the aging consumer. Hospitals need to trump up their game to address senior needs, for instance, assistance to find their way to a department deep within the system. More "front doors" are needed with direct access from parking. More locations for outpatient facilities embedded in suburban communities are being built to bring the hospital brand out further and further. We've seen the expansions of the hospital brands through remote locations and acquisitions of competitors in the last 10 years. This will mean even more prominence as the reach is mandatory to alleviate overcrowding at current facilities.

Published in Baby Boomer