For Elder Health, Trips To The ER Are Often A Tipping Point

From Kaiser Health News:

An older person’s trip to the ER often signals a serious health challenge and should serve as a wake-up call for caregivers and relatives.

Research published last year in the Annals of Emergency Medicine underscores the risks. Six months after visiting the ER, seniors were 14 percent more likely to have acquired a disability — an inability to independently bathe, dress, climb down a flight of stairs, shop, manage finances or carry a package, for instance — than older adults of the same age, with a similar set of illnesses, who didn’t end up in the ER.

The takeaway: Illnesses or injuries that lead to ER visits can initiate “a fairly vulnerable period of time for older persons” and “we should consider new initiatives to address patients’ care needs and challenges after such visits,” said one of the study’s co-authors, Dr. Thomas Gill, a professor of medicine (geriatrics), epidemiology and investigative medicine at Yale University.

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