During normal, non-COVID-19 times, older Americans are much more likely to have repeated trips to emergency rooms than those who are younger. But with the pandemic, news reports have shown that people are avoiding going to ERs because they fear becoming infected.
One important prevention method that those in the senior industry should remember, is that having older adults in assisted living communities can lessen trips to the ER. Here’s why:
- Medication management – Older adults take more medications than those who are younger. But as the number of medications increase, the more confusing it can become, especially when there are different dosages and times of day when they are taken. This can result in medication errors, noncompliance and even adverse reactions which may prompt a trip to the ER. Most assisted living communities offer medication management services to ensure residents don’t have a bad result.
- Fall prevention – We’ve all heard the statistics, but they bear repeating. Falls are the number one cause of injury among seniors in the United States, and one of the most common reasons they go to the ER. Assisted living communities are designed to help manage falls. They have handrails in hallways, grab bars in bathrooms and walk-in showers are prevalent.
- Nutrition needs – Seniors who live alone are less likely to prepare healthy, well-balanced meals. And, a poor diet can cause a whole host of issues such as falls, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and malnutrition. That again leads to hospitalizations. Assisted living provides carefully designed, nutritious meals and snacks, as well as meals for those with special dietary needs.
- Caregiver oversight – The healthcare staff at assisted living communities monitor and provide oversight of its residents, which means they will detect physical changes that require intervention before a medical emergency occurs.
Senior care communities have come under scrutiny as our nation deals with COVID-19, but it’s important for everyone to know that assisted living homes can truly keep our seniors safe and healthy.