Care for the Older Adult in the Emergency Department

< 1 min
July 30, 2018


The convergence of several forces is creating an opportunity to dramatically improve
care for older adults in the emergency department (ED), which in turn has the potential
to create benefits in the US healthcare system for everyone. These forces include demographic
changes, a shift toward value-based healthcare, and the emergence of individual
and organizational champions for optimal geriatric emergency care. This issue
of Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, focusing on Care for the Older Adult in the Emergency
Department, comes at the perfect time to help advance the field and improve ED care
for all seniors.

Every day in the United States more than 10,000 people turn age 65. While in the last
2 years it has fallen, life expectancy has steadily increased in America over the last
several decades. By 2060, the older adult population in this country will reach 98.2
million people, up from 49.2 million in 2016. This longevity brings with it challenges
and opportunities as this increasingly complex patient population often has multiple
chronic conditions, serious illnesses like dementia, and is resulting in increased health
care utilization, including expensive ED care. With this shifting demographic, we have
an unprecedented opportunity to improve care delivery in a meaningful way for our aging