Caring for a spouse or parent whose health is declining can be a physically and emotionally taxing experience. Many family members worry and wonder if they are meeting their senior loved one’s needs and providing them with a safe and secure environment. When an older adult is making frequent trips to an emergency room, family caregivers often begin to search for solutions to prevent repeated hospital visits.
One solution to consider is a move to an assisted living community.
4 Reasons Seniors Are Admitted to an Emergency Room
Let’s first explore a few of the most common reasons older adults become patients in an emergency room:
Seniors typically take more medication than younger adults. As the number of medications increases, so does the risk for mistakes. In fact, medication errors, noncompliance, and adverse reactions to a medication are some of the leading reasons older adults are hospitalized.
The leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among seniors continues to be falls. A senior is treated in the emergency room every 11 seconds for a fall-related injury. Even more startling? Every 19 minutes, an older adult loses their life from injuries related to a fall.
Seniors who live alone and have problems preparing meals are at increased risk for poor nutrition. This can contribute to a variety of health conditions ranging from type 2 diabetes to obesity and heart disease.
Chronic health conditions:
If a senior has a chronic health condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or congestive heart failure, it might be difficult for them to manage the illness, even with the help of a family caregiver. Early signs that indicate trouble might be overlooked until a crisis occurs.
How Assisted Living Helps Older Adults Avoid the Emergency Room
Assisted living communities are designed to offer seniors a safe environment complete with around-the-clock, on-site caregivers. A few of the benefits that help seniors avoid a trip to the emergency room are:
- A physical environment that helps reduce the risk for falls: handrails, grab bars, accessible bathrooms, wider doorways, and good lighting are standard.
- Nutritious meals and snacks created to meet the needs of older adults, including those with special dietary restrictions.
- Medication management programs to ensure residents stay safely on schedule and to reorder prescriptions in a timely manner.
- Caregiver oversight and monitoring that helps detect physical changes and intervene before a medical emergency occurs.
Communities also offer residents a rich variety of social activities and wellness programs. These help seniors have the best quality of life each day.
Advice from a Local Senior Care Advisor
If you would like help finding an assisted living community that is a good fit for a senior loved one, we can help. You can speak to a local caregiver who can guide you through the process. The good news is this is a free resource for families! Call 888-514-6461 to get started.