emergency rooms

I was quite interested in the news headline “ER Visits for Senior Citizens Rise at Thanksgiving.” Their premise is that this occurs because the aging relative’s family members haven’t seen them in quite a while and/or they underestimate the effects of normal aging.

Their overall thought process does make sense. If you only see an aging relative once a year, it can be quite a shock to see how their health may have deteriorated considerably since the last visit. And, while Thanksgiving has passed, the same points would be true for the whole holiday season through Christmas or even the New Year, as many of us don’t get all of our visits finished until then.

Then again, several members of my family have dealt with various legitimate trips to the ER in the last 20 years. We actually had one trip to ER the day before Thanksgiving but it was NOT a false alarm. My senior dad developed pneumonia and, shortly after that hospital trip, he was put on hospice. Other relatives have been admitted to the hospital during the holiday season, ending plans for holiday travel. In some cases, the planning process itself could have been a small part of the problem. In other cases, the fact that it was cold and flu season was a definite factor due to complications from bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. Often, our immune systems are weakened due to stress, travel, not sleeping well, not eating healthily, and other reasons.  I know many families who have dealt with similar circumstances.

While I don’t necessarily agree that unfamiliarity is the only reason for the increase in emergency, the article does make some excellent points and contains good advice of what TO do throughout the year as well as what NOT to do in these circumstances. I totally agree with them that, while it could be a false alarm, if you have any concerns about the health of your beloved senior, it is vital to take them to the doctor’s office, urgent care or, if serious, the Emergency room to have them checked out. With the holiday season now in full swing, I would encourage you to pop on over and read the article. And have a healthy and peaceful holiday season. 🙂