For the first time in the U.S. history, local health systems, public and private, are coming together to commit to better emergency care for seniors. The San Diego Senior Emergency Care Initiative pledges that a majority of the region’s emergency departments will be accredited as senior-friendly by 2021. The initiative is funded with $700,000 from the County of San Diego and the nonprofit West Health. Signing the pledge at UC San Diego Health were leaders representing Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente San Diego, Palomar Health, Paradise Valley Hospital, Scripps Health, Sharp HealthCare, Tri-City Medical Center, UC San Diego Health and VA San Diego Healthcare System.
“San Diego is seeing a huge surge in its senior population. Many struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and are vulnerable to mishaps and medical emergencies,” says County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob. “Supporting our region’s hospitals as they pursue senior-friendly care in their emergency departments is an important part of The Aging Roadmap, the county’s regional vision and framework for supporting healthy aging.”
The Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation is offered by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). Accreditation will mean many things, such as putting in place geriatric-focused policies and protocols, as well as senior-friendly physical enhancements. Today there are 413,000 seniors in San Diego County, or about 13 percent of our population, but by 2030, the number is expected to be twice that.
Read the full story here, from San Diego Magazine.