Statistics show that 16 percent of adults ages 65 and up visit the Emergency Department annually. Common reasons for visits include falls, car accidents, diabetes, heart attacks, or various side effects to medicine.
Though sometimes a visit to the ED is inevitable, assisted living communities can be helpful in making these visits less frequent.
Firstly, caregivers are trained in understanding risk factors when it comes to falls.
They recognize which resident is prone to falling and keep a heavy eye on them. The caregivers are also fully aware of any cognitive impairment (dementia, Alzheimers, etc.) that sometimes affect balance. They monitor these residents closely. Each bathroom is also accessible and has handrails and grab bars.
Secondly, with nurses and doctors regularly checking on residents, it becomes easier to detect illnesses and other health issues.
Thus, a treatment plan can start earlier than if detected at a later time. When an older adult lives at home, loved ones or the adult themselves may accidentally ignore or be unaware symptoms until it’s too late. A recent study says that the doctor’s, “…ability to see residents onsite not only can prevent trips to the hospital but also can save the time, trouble, and expense of transporting residents to physician offices.” This also gives residents the ability to, “…age in place with as much dignity and independence as possible for as long as possible.”
Thirdly, assisted livings have 24/7 observation – from the crack of down till late in the evening.
Residents are never alone. They are constantly watched by trained caregivers who assist with anything from cooking meals to working on crafts. The caregivers step in to ensure residents are safe at all times of the day. It is their job to take care of your loved one.
Fourthly, caregivers are trained in administering medication.
It is easy to get overwhelmed when taking care of a loved one and occasionally forget to give them a certain medication. Assisted living communities are designed to keep record of when the medications were given, including the time and dosage. Forgetting medicine can be dangerous and may result in an ED visit. Luckily, medication administration is a group home’s speciality.
Overall, keeping residents safe and healthy is the number one priority of an assisted living, group home, nursing home, etc. Facilities are designed to protect the residents. The hope is to avoid unnecessary Emergency Department visits.