Hospitalizations are common for seniors, especially trips to the emergency room as a result of falls, upper respiratory tract infections, medication mismanagement and complications with health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. But, according to specialists, researchers, and our assisted living team in Gloucester County, it shouldn’t be this way.
According to a congressional report on this issue, up to 60% of Medicare beneficiary visits to emergency rooms and 25% of hospital admissions in the study were preventable. These unnecessary trips to the hospital take a toll not only on hospital resources, but on the seniors themselves. Although Medicare Part A and B provide some coverage, seniors are still often subject to a copay and 20% of the bill.
Seniors often take longer to recover from falls and illness, and are at high-risk of developing secondary infections in a hospital setting because immune systems become far less effective as we age. This means that these hospitalizations can rapidly become very expensive and result in the need for additional care.
Assisted Living Reduces Unnecessary Hospitalization
A key finding of the above report is that better care in non-hospital settings are a critical component in reducing hospitalizations — and assisted living communities are perfectly positioned to do so.
- Communities are designed around fall prevention — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four seniors fall each year. It is the leading cause of injury in seniors, with 3 million visiting the ER each year as a result of a fall. Fall risks can be drastically reduced by changing a senior’s environment — installing handrails, entrance ramps, grab bars in bathrooms, and good lighting. Unlike homes, assisted living apartments are designed with fall prevention in mind.
- Early detection of illness – Often, hospitalization can be avoided if a health complication is detected early and treated effectively. Assisted living communities have nurses and trained caregivers onsite who seniors interact with daily, so a respiratory illness can be recognized in the very early stages and can usually be treated by a doctor before it gets to a level requiring hospitalization. This means minimal severe symptoms, no emergency treatment costs, and no risk of a hospital-acquired infection.
Visit Pitman, An Assisted Living Community in New Jersey That Cares
Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality, scalable assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, respite care, and memory care and support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.
Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/how-moving-into-assisted-living-helps-prevent-emergency-hospitalizations/