For many people as they age, trips to the emergency room become routine. Whether due to falling, getting sick from the flu, or other situations, living alone can become difficult if not impossible. As a result, more people are choosing to move to assisted-living facilities. Offering a unique combination of independence and assistance, these facilities are credited for helping prevent numerous trips to the ER. Along with being inconvenient, ER visits are also costly, with most patients being required to pay a copay in addition to 20% of their medical bill. If you or a loved one are considering making the move to assisted-living, here are three crucial reasons why doing so will likely lead to far fewer trips to the ER.
Designed to Prevent Falls
According to a recent congressional report regarding seniors, over 60% of all ER visits are preventable. In that same report, it was found that 25% of all hospital admissions for senior citizens were also preventable. For many elderly patients, their reason for visiting the ER centers on having a fall inside their home. In fact, the CDC estimates over 25% of seniors have a serious fall each year. When this happens, various injuries can occur, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries, fractured hips, broken arms and legs, and serious back injuries. Unfortunately, many of these injuries begin a downfall that may ultimately lead to a person’s death. Rather than let this happen, a move to assisted-living can be beneficial in many ways
By moving to an assisted-living facility, seniors can enjoy many safety benefits that can eliminate falls. For example, most facilities have handrails in stairwells and hallways, grab bars in bathrooms, and entrance ramps that make walking up inclines much easier and safer. In addition, most facilities offer exercise classes to residents helping them maintain strength and balance, crucial elements in helping to prevent falls.
Early Detection of Illnesses
For many seniors who may be living by themselves, one of their biggest issues is not being able to know when they may be getting seriously ill. For example, while a person may think they have nothing but a simple cold, failing to receive prompt treatment can result in a simple cold turning into the flu, pneumonia, or bronchitis, all of which can put an elderly person’s life at risk if left untreated for a period of time.
However, upon moving to an assisted-living facility, all this can change. Instead, residents will always have frequent access to nursing care, where they can be examined and monitored for potentially serious health problems. Should this occur, they can be scheduled immediately to see a doctor at the facility, receiving care much quicker than if they waited to visit an ER. As a result, they can avoid medical expenses associated with ER visits, as well as the inconvenience and worry.
When seniors live alone, one of the biggest worries family members have is the fact their loved ones are not monitored 24/7 for illnesses and other problems. Even under the best of circumstances where family members care for loved ones, there are times when seniors are left alone. Unfortunately, it is during these times that accidents such as falls can occur. But once the move is made into an assisted-living facility, family members and their loved ones can relax, knowing around-the-clock observation is one of the benefits they will enjoy. With doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, and other workers on duty day and night, it becomes much easier to make sure seniors stay safe and healthy each and every day.
While moving to an assisted-living facility can be a big change for many seniors who have been used to their independence, they often find that once they arrive they start to wonder why they waited so long. By being in a safe and caring environment, trips to the ER eventually become rare or even non-existent.