Senior Care Blog

Common Reasons for Emergency Room Visits of Our Elderly Community

By Jonathan Marsh, Owner of Home Helpers of Bradenton

Hi, Fellow Community Members!

Did you know that by 2030, approximately 20% of the U.S. population will be 65 or older?  It is this same demographic that will make up the majority of individuals visiting emergency rooms.  Recent reports show that almost 25% of our senior population has visited an emergency room.

As caregivers, whether we are family caregivers or hired caregivers, it is important to be familiar with the primary causes of the emergency room visits for our elderly so that we can be aware of the related symptoms.  Prevention of emergency room visits is important.  As a senior home care provider, we also feel that it is important to be aware of when the symptoms may be related to conditions that are more serious.

Emergency Room Visits | Senior Home Care | Home Helpers Bradenton FL

Below are some of the common causes of ER visits by our elderly:

  • Fall or other accident-related injuries.  According to the Center for Disease Control, one in three older people fall each year.  The CDC also indicates that 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling.  In addition to hip fractures, lacerations and head trauma are common results of falls.  If you recall our recent blog, having cataracts removed is a preventative measure reduces one’s chances of falling by 23%:  http://www.homehelpershomecare.com/bradenton/blog/2016/06/june-is-cataract-awareness-month
  • Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of death in our elderly population. Elderly adults are more at risk of catching pneumonia.  Usually, it starts as a mild upper respiratory infection or the flu.  Common symptoms are coughing, shortness of breath and confusion. 
  • Complications after a surgery. As individuals age, they undergo more surgeries than the average person and are at higher risk of complications after surgery. Many older individuals will visit the ER within one month of their original hospital stay and will end up being readmitted to the hospital.  That being said, you will find that current trends as it relates to surgery are less invasive surgeries to minimize complications.
  • Chest pain. Chest pain can be related to heart disease, heart attacks, blood clots or respiratory infections, or other problems. Heart disease specifically is the leading cause of death in the U.S. 
  • Drug interactions/side effects. For any individual, it is important for your doctor to know all medications that you are taking so that they can properly be managed.  This is especially important for our older population that may be taking a variety of medications.  The interactions of different drugs can result in negative impacts on a person’s health and result in overmedication. 
  • Dehydration. Elderly individuals are more at risk for dehydration, which is a leading cause of hospitalization. Dehydration can lead to problems such as urinary tract infection, dizziness, increase heart rate, and nausea. 
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are another big reason our older population visits the ER. Many elderly individuals are chronically dehydrated.  According to the CDC, one of the best defenses against UTIs is drinking plenty of water. 
  • Strokes. According to the World Stroke Organization, stroke is the second leading cause of death in adults above the age of 60. Symptoms include loss of balance, weakness, and sudden numbness or weakness of the arms, legs or face (usually on one side of the body).
  • Abdominal pain or back pain. Back pain tends to be related to spinal disorders such as injury or arthritis while abdominal pain may be resulting from kidney stones, dehydration, or food poisoning.

Thanks for reading our blog and taking the time to familiarize yourself with some of the common issues that result in visits to the ER by our elderly population.  You may be able to help to prevent an ER visit or, at the very least, have a better understanding of how to handle situations above.

Yours truly,

Jonathan Marsh

Jonathan Marsh, Owner Home Helpers of Bradenton

Thanks for reading our blog.  At Home Helpers of Bradenton, we look to not only make life easier but to also make a difference in our clients’ lives.  It is truly an honor to have an opportunity to work with members of our community and we take the trust bestowed to us very seriously.

Contact Home Helpers of Bradenton FL for your Senior Care Needs

For information about how Home Helpers of Bradenton can serve you and your family, call 941-999-1960, email JMarsh@HomeHelpersHomeCare.com or visit Elderly Home Care Bradenton FL - Home Helpers. Our senior home care services including homemaker care, companion care, personal care, Alzheimer's and dementia care, respite care, 24 hour care & live-in care, and monitoring and medical alert services are available in Manatee County and Sarasota County in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota.  Our main office is located at 4230 59th St W, Ste C, Bradenton, FL 34209.

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