Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Older Americans are more vulnerable to certain accidents or illnesses that require medical attention. But there are ways to keep people in this age bracket out of the emergency room while ensuring their wellbeing and ongoing health. Residence in a well-staffed assisted living environment helps keep seniors out of the emergency room.
Seniors are more prone to upper respiratory infections and falls, which can have serious consequences. Emergency rooms have an important place in healthcare, treating urgent medical cases and severe accidents. But these visits can be expensive; even when Medicare pays, the copay is often up to 20% of the bill, so why not avoid a visit by avoiding accidents and illness when possible? Our more vulnerable citizens are best staying out of hospital ERs if possible to avoid the risk of picking up a secondary infection or being exposed to communicable diseases. So how do we keep our beloved older family members out of the emergency room?
The Role of Assisted Living in Keeping Seniors Safe
An assisted living residence offers the supportive environment that an older person needs to stay safe and out of the ER. Some of the benefits of assisted living include:
- Healthy lifestyle. In assisted living, residents have access to healthy, balanced meals. Good nutrition results in an improved immune system and helps the body heal injuries and fight off illness. Exercise is also accessible in an assisted living home. Whether it’s safe places indoors and out for walks or a range of fitness classes suited to residents’ abilities, exercise is good for the metabolism and improves balance and strength for avoiding accidents.
- Fall prevention. Every part of an assisted living community is fitted with equipment and conveniences that help seniors avoid falls. There are handrails in hallways, no-step showers, grab-bars in bathrooms and other spaces, and, if someone does fall, easy access to call buttons or pull cords to get immediate help.
- A support network. In the communal environment of assisted living, seniors have professional staff available 24/7. Seniors are often hesitant to bother their loved ones with what they think might be “nothing.” But if staff are nearby and in place to ensure safety and health, seniors are more likely to express concerns or mention pains or other symptoms.
Assisted living communities increase the chances of a senior getting appropriate help at an appropriate time and avoiding a visit to the ER.
Prevention is Better than a Cure
More than 50% of ER visits involving people on Medicare are considered preventable. Helping our older citizens avoid the expense, worry, and discomfort of ER visits for things that could be avoided is one of the best things about assisted living. They continue to have the independence and autonomy they enjoyed at home, but with a little extra care and attention to provide security and safety.
If you are an older adult who lives alone and is thinking about the next steps for optimal health and longevity, consider assisted living, where your wellbeing is a priority for the entire staff.
Happy Holidays & a Very Happy New Year!
From our MDSL family to yours,
Dr. Mel R