For healthy younger people, a trip to the emergency room is an inconvenience. But for many seniors, a trip to the emergency room for non-life-threatening cases can present logistical problems and dangers that could further complicate health problems.
No matter if you’re plenty agile and living independently or if you’re staying in an assisted living residence and need a little more help than most — there’s a better option available, and it’s easier and more affordable than you might think.
Lack of Transportation
For many seniors with mobility challenges, jumping in the car and driving to a clinic is simply not an option. This means they either have to find someone to take them, use public transit, or call for an ambulance. A lack of transportation options can often leave seniors feeling like a burden on their loved ones or on the system, and some even choose to put off medical treatment in order to avoid inconveniencing others. Of course, this can lead to dangerous delays in treatment and cause bigger problems down the road.
Even with a willing and able driver, for some seniors, the simple act of leaving the house can be a major undertaking. Climbing stairs or walking from the parking lot to the clinic’s doors could be as difficult as running an obstacle course is for a younger person. Every venture outside of the safety of their normal routine could mean a potential fall, leading to broken bones or other injuries.
Exposure to Illness
For senior patients, spending time in a waiting room surrounded by sick people with every sort of contagion can be a risky concept. It’s well known that our immune systems begin to deteriorate as we age. Many elderly patients also suffer from chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and various age-related concerns. This means that they are particularly at risk for both contracting infectious diseases and suffering from dangerous complications. Spending any amount of time in a room full of people suffering from the flu or other contagions can represent a major health risk for older people.
For seniors, hospital visits can be draining and difficult. And after discharge, there’s often a lengthy recovery period. When they finally get home, the last thing they likely want to do is go back to the hospital or a clinic if concerns arise. For many, this means suffering in silence at home, and leads to serious complications. In fact, NCBI has found that readmission is so common that nearly 20 percent of elderly Medicare patients wind up back in the hospital within 30 days of discharge. This is largely due to adverse drug effects or other hospital-related complications. And many of these readmissions are preventable with timely and effective care.
It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way
Fortunately, there is a solution to all of these problems and concerns. At-home care solutions like DispatchHealth can prioritize safety and comfort by keeping elderly patients home and delivering high-quality acute care to them. With a simple call, seniors in need of advanced care can request a visit from a team of ER-trained medical clinicians. These caregivers can treat nearly everything an emergency room can. And since they accept both Medicare and most private health insurance plans, it won’t cost any more than your normal urgent care copay!
While life-threatening and extremely time sensitive injuries and illnesses certainly merit a trip the the emergency room, for other issues that require same-day care, DispatchHealth is the perfect solution. And you might even be surprised at the vast number of chronic and acute health problems DispatchHealth can treat in the comfort of your home or office.
So the next time you or a senior you know is suffering from urgent health concerns, call in the quality care team from DispatchHealth. They’ll meet you where you are, deliver the very highest quality of care, and even follow up with your primary care doctor. And you can just sit back, relax, and focus on feeling better.
If this is an emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.