Eden in the ER

May 05, 2011
Dr. Bill Thomas, ChangingAging.org

For the past couple of years I have been working on reforming the hospital emergency department. Friends of Eden will recognize many of the basic features of the Senior ER. We optimize the physical environment to meet the needs of elders. We improve the staff’s understanding of age and aging. We ATTACK ageism in the ER and help staff see the work of caring for elders in a whole new light. Finally, we work with the organization to help make the innovation a part of the the hospital’s ongoing mission.

A new Senior ER just opened in Michigan. Here is a report…

I am proud and happy to report that Mercy Hospital Grayling has opened its Senior ER.   They made a pretty big splash too.


GRAYLING, MI — You’ve heard it before.  Baby boomers are getting older.

Wednesday, a Crawford County hospital opened a hospital wing designed to meet the special medical needs of older adults.

According to census data, every eight seconds, one person is turning 65 years old.  Mercy Hospital Grayling is trying to get a head start by unveiling their new “Senior Emergency Room.”

The hospital is focusing on the comfort, environment, and operations of the new Senior ER.  The rooms will have pressure-reducing beds, communication boards for people who have a hard time talking and hearing, a more relaxing color scheme, and even restroom facilities. “It’s going to help us recognize more of their problems, it’s going to help us recognize them earlier,” said Dr. Lougen.



Culture change— it’s not just for long-term care

1 Comment. Leave new

I’ve been watching the ER transition movement closely, and I have written about some of the ER’s on my blog. My question to you is … How to we get the process started at our local hospitals? My local hospital, Virginia Hospital Center, still has the traditional ER. When my my mother-in-law was taken there, everyone was kind and helpful, but the environment created, within a few hours, hospital induced dementia (she escaped to 1939 Troy, Ohio for the remainder of her 24 hours in the ER and hospital room). Families should not have to experience this.

What has to happen to get the ball rolling and encourage a community hospital to make at least a little corner of an Emergency Department more senior friendly?


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