Seniors can require the same services and supports that younger parties require. However, tailoring these offerings can be crucial to better meeting the needs of vulnerable adults.
As your parent gets older, it can be helpful to know of some senior-specific services that may exist in your area.
Geriatric emergency rooms
A fall, a sudden illness, or another health problem can require emergency care. However, once your parent is elderly, a traditional emergency room may no longer fit their needs.
So-called geriatric emergency rooms are opening in states across the U.S. to address the unique circumstances of older patients. These facilities have a range of offerings to provide care suited to seniors, including:
- Specially qualified staff, including geriatricians and social workers
- Diversion activities
- “Delirium carts” equipped with reading glasses, hearing aids, and phone chargers
- Medication reconciliation services
- Staffers trained to identify signs of elder abuse
Geriatric emergency departments that provide these and other age-friendly services are designed to care for your parent in an urgent situation. Knowing about them before your parent requires care can help you make decisions quickly should the need arise.
Adult protective services
Older adults can be at an increased risk of abuse and neglect. Your parent may be among this group if they:
- Have dementia
- Rely on caregivers
- Are physically or mentally frail or incapacitated
Adult protective services provides this group with specialized assistance. They investigate claims of elderly abuse and caretaker neglect. They also connect victims to resources to help protect their independence and well-being.
Guardianships and conservatorships
If your parent cannot manage care or financial decisions any longer, adult guardianship or conservatorship appoints someone to make these decisions on their behalf.
These legal tools ensure someone is in place to manage the needs of an incapacitated person. Without someone in this role, an at-risk adult can experience neglect, abuse, or significant financial losses.
Protecting your aging parent
These and other services can be crucial to know about if your parent is getting older and losing some of their physical or mental autonomy. Knowing that they exist and having appropriate contact information handy can help you and your parent make care-related decisions in difficult situations.