The world’s first emergency room was opened at the University of Louisville Hospital in 1911. Emergency care was a revolutionary practice for its time, and soon adopted by hospitals throughout the world. But in the decades that followed, not one person has ever actually enjoyed going to the emergency room. And who could blame them?
Unfortunately, many seniors accept frequent trips to the emergency room as part of their regular lives. According to the Annals of Emergency Medicine, seniors visit the emergency room more frequently. In addition to that, they spend longer amounts of time there and generally experience worse outcomes. To make matters worse, the average emergency room visit for a moderately severe health issue costs an average of $1,641 in South Dakota – with insurance.
Assisted living communities take a multifaceted approach to preventing trips to the emergency room. This includes preventing falls, discovering illnesses before they worsen, and keeping seniors nourished, active, and happy.
According to the CDC, every year more than 25% of seniors over the age of 65 suffer a fall. Falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors – one out of five falls results in serious injury, and 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling. Preventing such accidents is paramount to ensuring the well-being of assisted living community residents!
Preventing falls requires a range of specialized equipment including hand rails, grab bars, entrance ramps, elevators and walk-in tubs. Hiring a professional contractor to install so many amenities can easily cost several thousand dollars, but any reputable assisted living community already has them in place.
In the regrettable circumstance where a fall was unavoidable, an assisted living community’s staff can still help mitigate the injury. A senior who can summon immediate assistance with a medial alert button has a significantly greater chance of recovering from a fall than one who must remain in place until they are discovered.
Seniors are more susceptible to respiratory illnesses for a number of different reasons. Some include muscular weakness, slower immune system , and medical conditions which place them at greater risk of contracting pneumonia. Failure to detect these illnesses early on is often disastrous.
An assisted living community’s staff does a great deal to help their residents avoid catching communicable diseases. They also make certain residents seek medical attention as soon as they begin to exhibit symptoms. This is something which many seniors avoid until their conditions warrant emergency care. Assisted living community staff frequently spell the difference between a visit with a doctor and a trip to the emergency room!
Nutrition, Exercise and Engagement
Many emergency room visits could have been prevented if seniors had only practiced better habits. Eating an appropriate diet is important, as even one or two vitamin deficiencies can threaten seniors with underlying conditions. An assisted living community makes certain their residents have constant access to healthy foods and administers special diets as prescribed.
Light, yet regular, physical activity also helps to reduce the need for emergency room visits. Exercise can help to rebuild muscle strength, reduce depression, and maintain healthy bones and joints. Unfortunately, more than half of seniors aged 75 or older engage in zero physical activity. Residents of assisted living communities enjoy access to daily exercise classes, as well as gentle encouragement to participate.
Finally, the benefits of social engagement are inestimable. Seniors who participate in social activities enjoy a decreased of risk of mobility decline, depression and dementia, and they rate their own health better as well. Simply sharing activities with their peers may help a senior to live a longer life – not to mention avoid frequent visits to the emergency room.
The staff of Morgan Lane Village is committed to providing the most comfortable and rewarding accommodations for all of our valued residents. This commitment includes taking every available precaution against unnecessary emergency room visits! We welcome you to contact us if you would like any additional information on how we help promote our guests’ health.