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 New Trend: ERs for the Elderly 
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post New Trend: ERs for the Elderly
I just read an interesting article on msnbc.com about a new trend to develop ERs for the elderly, or at least having separate areas for the elderly within a typical ER.

The idea is that the elderly are not well served by typical ERs and need a different environment plus a more comprehensive approach that looks into what got them there, what underlying conditions (like dementia!) might exist and so forth.

I found it very encouraging. Maybe it will catch on and we won't have to worry so much about whether it is safe to take our LOs to the ER!

Here is the link:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42075980/ns/health-aging/

Julianne


Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:27 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: New Trend: ERs for the Elderly
Sounds like a good idea. A few years ago I took my husband to the ER with a severe medical problem and, when they saw he was confused and disoriented, they rushed him in to do a CAT scan, even though I told them he had dementia and was always confused and disoriented!!! I suppose it makes money for the hospital but all it did for him was delay his treatment. :evil:

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:12 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: New Trend: ERs for the Elderly
Yes, there's the unnecessary testing, and then there's the administration of drugs that are dangerous to dementia patients, and then there's the general lack of sensitivity to the needs of the elderly. Someone in the article was quoted as saying something like the elderly are not just regular adults in wrinkly skin. Not the most tactful way to express it, but the underlying thought is on target.

Julianne


Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:27 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: New Trend: ERs for the Elderly
Absolutely right! I was fortunate when I studied nursing at the University of Washington that we had an excellent course in Geriatric Nursing where we learned just that. Elderly people are different in many respects. Medication, for instance. They absorb, metabolize and excrete medications at a much slower rate so drugs are more likely to build up in their systems than with younger adults. As the article points out, many of their symptoms are atypical.

I'm hoping now that we 'baby boomers' are becoming geriatric, more attention will finally be paid to these issues, if only because there are so many of us.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:38 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: New Trend: ERs for the Elderly
This is encouraging. Like you, I hope it catches on.


Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:11 pm
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