Emergency care for seniors is often inadequate because medical staff are not well educated and trained in dealing with this age group. Due to their multiple health problems, this knowledge is important to have. It is also thought that because of their increased age it is not quite as important as caring for someone younger.
Studies have shown though that most elderly people that do require acute care return to their lives, upon recovery they are just as productive as before they fell ill. Yet this age group, generally 65 and older, is less likely to be taken to a trauma center to get much needed emergency care.
Some emergency care centers are taking action to change this, however. In addition to physical renovations and improvements in the facilities themselves, some emergency care centers are also purchasing additional medical equipment, supplies, and making use of packets that contain pertinent health histories for this specialized age group. This packet would include present medical history with all diagnoses listed, past surgeries, past medical conditions or procedures, and a detailed list of medications that they are taking at the present time.
Encouraging senior patients to carry this information makes good sense considering that when an individual needs emergency care they are not often able to cite exactly what is wrong with them or the past and present medical information. This capability of non-verbalization is related to many factors such as stress, pain, anxiety, or even being unconscious.
In addition manufacturers are now producing specialized equipment to aid seniors in case of an emergency in their home. All one has to do now is press a button and a medical personnel employee is alerted to your home. This medical alert response system involves wearing a pendent around your neck at all times in case an emergency should occur.
Seniors deserve the emergency care and respect just as anyone or any age would. The age factor bias is an insult, although most would not admit that this is a factor. We have to take a stand for our elderly and hold them in regard as valuable human beings. It is bad enough that costly medications are forcing many of the elderly population to go without their much needed medicines due to their decreased economic status. Seniors must be treated with dignity and respect that they earned in a lifetime of work and caring for others.
Chelsea Community Hospital: Michigan’s First Specialized Emergency Care Program for Seniors
Parent Giving The Ultimate Senior Care Resource: Plan Ahead for an Emergency Room Visit
Center Point Medical Center: Seniors Emergency Center