A New Kind of ER for the Elderly

From ABC News:

“Monitors beeping, loud voices, and people scurrying about are just a few of the things people associate with a busy emergency department. Many people may consider these factors a nuisance, but for older patients, these are things that may be downright frightening and could even affect their health. A new trend in emergency department design is seeking to optimize the environment in which older patients are treated.

Referred to as “geriatric” or “senior” emergency departments, these facilities have been popping up across the country since the first one was opened at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. in 2008. They are usually small areas, away from the hustle and bustle of the main emergency department. Private rooms, simple layouts, natural lighting, more volunteers, and soothing music are among the many features Holy Cross and other hospitals across the country are adding, all aimed at creating a calm and comforting environment.

Beyond making older patients more comfortable, the focus is really on keeping them safe. Dr. James Del Vecchio, medical director and pioneer in the creation of Holy Cross Hospital’s senior emergency center, thinks their follow-up service is one of the most important safety features of the care provided. Social workers are instrumental in this process. They not only set up home nursing services, but they make follow-up calls to every patient within 48 hours of being seen.”

Find out more about these senior friendly ER’s:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/kind-emergency-room-elderly/story?id=16132826

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About UWF Center on Aging

The Center on Aging at the University of West Florida was established in the Fall of 2010 when the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences faculty along with assistance from Sponsored Research submitted a grant to the State University System Board of Governors in support of aging initiatives for Northwest Florida. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of aging adults through the application of science to address challenges associated with aging and to promote healthy aging, with an emphasis on prevention. This will be accomplished through inter-disciplinary and inter-professional efforts of basic and applied research, consultation, and partnerships with community agencies. Education and training, direct services to the aging population, and public awareness and understanding of the contributions and needs of elders will be primary objectives.
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