As patients are living longer, older adults are visiting emergency departments with greater frequency and more complex conditions. Aging patients often manage multiple chronic conditions, have increased health risks, and face unique social and physical challenges.
Approximately 60 percent of Medicare patients admitted to the hospital arrive through the emergency department, according to 2013 RAND research. Multiple studies in Annals of Emergency Medicine note the vulnerability of older adults after an emergency visit.
Emergency physicians take steps to make sure that approaches to treatment and available resources are evolving to address shifting patient demographics.