Senior Community Staff Discovering an ER Alternative

senior community staff member

If you work in a senior community, you know how often residents are transported to the ER. A recent study conducted by the CDC found that 14.2 percent of assisted living residents had emergency department visits in a given year. But a single resident may find themselves being transported to the ER several times a month if they’re prone to falls or medical crises. 

Why Seniors Should Avoid Unnecessary ER Visits

Emergency departments play a critical role in providing immediate, excellent and lifesaving care for people in dire situations. But for many, especially seniors, it can be a chaotic and stressful experience. The ER is usually an intimidating place for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, as the constant movement, noise, and general activity is a shock to the senses. Trying to answer questions about medical history or conditions amidst all of this noise and confusion can prove impossible. In fact, a few hospitals around the country are now creating separate, geriatric ERs to make things a little easier for senior patients. 

Also, by nature, the ER is full of sick people. Imagine sitting in a waiting room, surrounded by coughs, sneezes and sniffles, and knowing that your immune system is already weakened by age or illness. Repeated emergency department visits can cause an increased spread of the flu and other diseases among senior populations as these contagions are brought home after the visit. 

Transportation to the ER is Problematic Too

For many seniors, dementia and other mental disorders are a fact of life. The simple act of leaving familiar surroundings can be hugely stressful, especially after a fall or during a medical emergency. This can compound problems like hypertension and other stress-fueled conditions, leading to further complications. 

Then there’s the cost of transportation. For minor problems, your community may be able to use in-house options like buses or vans. But if the need is acute, it’s common practice to call an ambulance. And if the problem is found not to be a true medical emergency, residents could be left holding a hefty bill. 

A Top-Notch Medical Care Solution

Senior community staff members are now discovering that there is a great way to handle senior emergencies without the expense of on-staff emergency medical teams. DispatchHealth is the solution. But how does it work?

Our process is simple. Just give us a call and we’ll send a team of emergency care providers your way ASAP. Our teams are ready and able to handle most of the injuries and illnesses that commonly send residents to the ER. We can help bandage or splint sprains and strains after a fall, administer IV fluids in the case of dehydration, help with hypertensive crises, test for flu and other communicable diseases, and prescribe medications when needed. 

The best part? There’s no transportation needed because we’ll come to you! We’ll treat your residents in their rooms, dining hall, rec room, or anywhere else that’s convenient. There’s no need for an expensive and confusing ambulance ride, and no germy, chaotic waiting room to contend with. 

If this sounds like a great solution for your community’s medical needs, we’d love to partner with you. Simply email partners@dispatchhealth.com to learn how we can create a safer, healthier experience together. 

about the author
About the Author
DispatchHealth Staff The DispatchHealth blog provides tips, tricks and advice for improving lives through convenient, comfortable healthcare.