3/21/2014
Susan Rajkovich, ENA Media Relations
susan.rajkovich@ena.org
847-460-4091

HOW TO CARE FOR OLDER ADULTS IN THE ER:

GROUPS ISSUE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDELINES

 DES PLAINES, Ill., March 19, 2014 — In response to the proliferation of geriatric emergency departments, geared specifically to patients age 65 and up, the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) , the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) have issued a comprehensive set of Geriatric Emergency Department Guidelines that cover everything from staffing to education to handling common problems of aging, such as falls, delirium and dementia.
"As our population ages, we are seeing more and more aging adults in the emergency department," said 2014 ENA President Deena Brecher, MSN, RN, APN, ACNS-BC, CEN, CPEN. "These guidelines developed provide a standardized set of recommendations for how care for older adults should be delivered and how geriatric emergency departments should be set up. The older adult population has a special set of needs and it is important that we meet those through quality care in the emergency setting, to affect better patient outcomes."  
 
ENA, ACEP, AGS, and SAEM developed the Guidelines over a 2-year period to address the unprecedented and overwhelming challenge to the American health care system and emergency departments that the population explosion among seniors presents. Widespread adoption of the Guidelines is expected to more effectively allocate health care resources and improve patient care. Similar programs designed for other age groups (pediatrics) or specific diseases (heart attack, stroke, trauma) have improved care both in individual emergency departments and system-wide, resulting in better, more cost-effective care and better patient outcomes.  
 
"Our goal is to help keep the older adults functionally independent. It is a benefit for all—patient, family, and the geriatric emergency department—when this goal is met," Brecher, 2014 ENA President said.  
 
The population of adults 65 and older represents 43 percent of hospital emergency department admissions. On average, older adults stay longer in the emergency department, use more resources and are significantly more likely to require social services.  
 
The Guidelines cover: staffing; follow-up care; education; quality improvement; equipment and supplies; policies, procedures and protocols; the use of urinary catheters; medication management; fall assessment; delirium and dementia; and palliative care. 
 
"The Emergency Nurses Association was pleased to collaborate on these guidelines with organizations that specialize in both geriatric and emergency care," said Brecher, 2014 ENA President. "We recommend that all health systems institute these guidelines, so that older adult patients will be better served in all emergency settings."

To access the complete Guidelines please visit   www.ena.org/geriatriced.

About the Emergency Nurses Association

ENA, which has more than 40,000 members worldwide, is the only professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing and emergency care through advocacy, expertise, innovation and leadership. Founded in 1970, ENA develops and disseminates education and practice standards and guidelines, and affords consultation to both private and public entities regarding emergency nurses and their practice. Additional information is available at ENA's Web site, www.ena.org or on Twitter: @ENAorg.

DES PLAINES, Ill., March 19, 2014 — In response to the proliferation of geriatric emergency departments, geared specifically to patients age 65 and up, the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) , the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) have issued a comprehensive set of Geriatric Emergency Department Guidelines that cover everything from staffing to education to handling common problems of aging, such as falls, delirium and dementia.