Can Moving to Assisted Living Prevent Frequent Trips to the ER?

  • February 07, 2019

Falls, medication errors, dehydration, and poor nutrition are a few common reasons older adults go to an emergency room. For some seniors, it is a weekly occurrence. 

A common question that family members ask our Five Star team is whether assisted living can reduce their loved one’s visits to the emergency room. While there are no guarantees, assisted living communities have services and programs in place to keep residents safe.

5 Ways Assisted Living Can Help a Senior Avoid the Emergency Room

1. Fall prevention: Falls are the leading cause of serious disability among seniors in the United States. According to the National Council on Aging, one in four adults, age 65 and over, experience a fall every year. An older adult is treated in the emergency room for fall-related injuries every 11 seconds. The worry that a senior loved one will fall and be unable to call for help creates high anxiety for family members. 

From barrier-free showers to grab bars and handrails, assisted living communities are designed with fall prevention in mind. Living in such a supportive environment typically results in fewer trips to the hospital.

2. Assistance with personal care: Having staff available to assist with personal needs is another benefit of assisted living. This is important for more than just vanity reasons. Hygiene plays an important role in personal wellness. From decreasing the risk for infections to lowering the risk for falls, caregiver support is invaluable. Assisted living communities have a combination of nurses and caregivers on-site. 

3. Better nutrition means better overall health: Poor nutrition can put seniors at risk for illnesses and injuries that result in trips to an emergency room. Older adults who live alone don’t always have well-balanced diets, especially if they have a chronic health condition that makes cooking more difficult. 

Assisted living communities offer nutritious meals and snacks every day. Good nutrition helps to improve the overall well-being of assisted living residents by lowering their risk for falls, dehydration, diabetes, and more.

4. Medication management program: Medication errors are another reason that seniors often visit an emergency room. Taking too much of one medication, while forgetting to take another, is an easy mistake to make. This error is especially common for people who take multiple medications each day. Unfortunately, these mistakes can be dangerous. 

Assisted living communities have medication management services to keep residents safely on track with their medication. Staff members oversee every detail from reordering medications to reminding and administering dosages. 

5. Wellness programs: In addition to a variety of life-enrichment activities, most assisted living communities also offer on-site wellness programs. They are designed to promote and protect strength, flexibility, stamina, and range of motion. At Five Star Senior Living communities, for example, residents have an opportunity to participate in wellness activities such as Tai Chi, chair yoga, and aquatic therapy.

If you are searching for ways to keep an older adult in your life safe, we extend an open invitation to visit a Five Star Senior Living community. Call us today at (617) 796-8387 to locate the community nearest you!
 


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