Mom fell -Can you come to the ER?

Every step was taken to make the home safe and to prevent a fall but it happened anyway. Hopefully, rescue found the medication list and doctor’s information posted on the refrigerator.

The ER is crowded, noisy and filled with strangers asking a lot of questions. Do you have your glasses? hearing aids? teeth?

Multiple medical conditions may complicate the doctors assessment process. Give the doctors as much medical information as you are able. Don’t assume the ER doctor has access to, or time to read, your full medical history.

If the hospital is sensitive to an elder’s needs, you may be taken to a geriatric section of the ER. The lights won’t produce glaring bright light, the bed or chair will be a little more comfortable, hand rails may be installed in the halls and the floor will offer more traction. The staff will be specially trained in working with elders.

About 75% of  patients age 75 or older that are functionally independent when admitted to the hospital are not functionally independent when they are discharged~The Merck Manual

 7 Things to Consider When Discharging From the Hospital

  1. What are you able to do safely on your own & what will you need help with? (ex: bathing, cooking, shopping, laundry)
  2. Do you need to go to a subacute rehab facility to regain your strength?
  3. Will you need homecare services? (ex: a nurse that visits a few times a week or home health aide)
  4. What will your insurance cover? (Medicare does not cover everything)
  5. Do you have the needed supplies and, if not, where do you get them? (ex: bandages, wraps, gloves, adult diapers)
  6. Do you have the equipment you will need and the space for it? (ex: hospital bed, commode, walker, grab bars)
  7. Do you have transportation to get to follow-up doctors visit. (ex: can you or a family member drive or call a cab? do you need an ambulance or wheelchair car?)


Why Should I Care?

You have the right to choose where you will be discharged.

If you feel you are being sent home too soon you have a right to appeal that decision.

A realistic assessment of what you can do is important for being able to make an informed decision.