As people age, they become more at risk when entering the hospital setting because they may be weakened from illness or on many medications. They may also have multiple health issues and be more sensitive to change. Upstate University Hospital understands this and has a dedicated emergency unit in Syracuse that offers a comfortable, quiet, and calming environment for seniors. Their team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and case managers are trained to address the needs of patients 65 years and older.
A major goal of the unit is to help patients avoid hospitalization and return safely to their homes whenever possible. This not only improves the patient's quality of life – as it avoids the decline older adults can experience after hospital admission – it also reduces healthcare expenses.
Since Upstate opened this ER unit dedicated to seniors, the rate of hospital admissions among seniors who sought emergency care at this site has decreased from 43% to 37%.