Geriatric Emergency Departments: Ensuring the best care for elderly patients

Older Americans are living longer and often manage complex conditions. These patients can benefit from emergency care tailored to their unique needs. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) developed a Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) program to ensure that older patients receive well-coordinated, quality care. Currently, there are nearly 100 GEDA-certified hospitals nationwide.

Seniors who visit GEDA-certified emergency departments can be assured that the facilities have the necessary expertise, equipment and personnel in place to provide optimal care. These emergency department may include a separate space or integrated features designed for older patients, screenings for high-risk conditions specific to older patients, processes, protocol or procedures designed to enhance care for older patients or designated and specially trained staff.

These facilities may also contain additional resources, food, or equipment such as furniture, mobility aids, hearing assists, clocks or enhanced lighting, all of which can be designed to meet the needs of older patients and play an important part in enhancing treatment and transition of care—in and out of the emergency department.

GEDA-certified emergency departments greatly enhance geriatric emergency care, especially in rural areas, and help ease older patients back into their daily lives after an emergency occurs.

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