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An elderly personal alarm with automatic fall detection can detect a fall and call for help without you needing to push the button. This is vital is you are unconscious or immobile following a sudden illness or a fall. The call will automatically go through to either your nominated contacts or a SureSafe operator, depending on which service you have chosen. You will be able to get the help you need fast, even if you are unable to press the button.

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Getting Emergency Care for the Elderly

Article by Daniel Westhead Daniel Westhead Sure Safe Alarms

We all know how essential elderly care is. Day in and day out, good care keeps seniors safe, healthy and happy – whether that means care in the home or care at a facility like a care home.

Of course, care in a crisis is even more crucial. When you have to obtain emergency care for elderly loved ones, you’ll need that help put in place fast.

There are many reasons why emergency care for the elderly might be necessary. In this post, we’ll discuss what emergency elderly care is, when you might need it and how you can get emergency elderly care when a crisis occurs.

What is emergency elderly care?

Emergency care for the elderly can be any type of care that an older person might receive. The difference is that it’s arranged on an emergency basis. Typically, something unexpected occurs that means care is needed suddenly and urgently.

So, what are some types of care for elderly people in an emergency?

Home care

Home care can describe a range of types of care. It includes the services of carers who stop by for a short time each day, as well as care provided by live-in carers.

Help with personal care such as bathing and dressing is a common type of home care. Assistance with preparing meals or cleaning a home is technically described as home help, but these tasks might also be done by a carer, especially a live-in carer.

When care in this category is needed on an emergency basis, that’s emergency home care. To learn more, read our blog post that focuses specifically on emergency home care for the elderly.

Residential care

Care outside the home might also be needed on an emergency basis.

While it’s fairly common to use the terms “care home” and “nursing home” interchangeably, they’re actually not the same thing. A nursing home provides more medically oriented care, and it usually has a registered nurse available at all times. A care home usually helps seniors who have a lower level of medical needs, focusing on tasks such as providing meals and help with personal care.

However, both of these types of residential care can be needed on an emergency basis.

Palliative care or end of life care

Downturns in health can arrive unexpectedly. While sometimes an older person’s decline in health is slow, at other times there’s a need for palliative care on a more urgent basis.

That might include palliative care or end of life care in the elderly person’s own home, in a care or nursing home or in a hospice.

When might you need to get emergency care for the elderly?

How do you know when it’s time to obtain emergency elderly care?

Given all of these different types of care for the elderly in an emergency, it’s clear that there is a variety of circumstances when it could become necessary.

But the key point in most of them is that an older person’s health, safety and wellbeing are at risk if care isn’t arranged fast.

Here are some specific situations that might call for elderly care on an urgent basis…

Accidents and falls

It’s well known that falls are a serious risk for the elderly – and that they can have significant health impacts.

If an older person has experienced a fall or another accident, they might become injured and unable to do their normal tasks around the home. In other words, a senior who hasn’t needed care before might suddenly need it. They may be unable to bathe without assistance, for example.

This could mean that they need emergency home care for the elderly.

Discharges from hospital

Obviously, there are many reasons why an older person might be admitted to hospital unexpectedly. That could be the result of a bad fall or another health crisis such as a stroke.

Regardless of the cause, an unexpected hospital admission could result in an unexpected hospital discharge – meaning that an older person in frail health could be leaving the hospital with significant needs for help.

This is another situation where emergency home care might be called for. A nursing home might also be needed in some cases.

Inability of the usual carer to provide care

Just as people receiving care can have unexpected crises, carers can have them too.

If a carer is suddenly injured or unwell, they might be unable to provide their usual care. There also could be situations where a carer becomes unavailable on short notice.

In these situations, an older person might not need more care than usual. But emergency care is still needed to fill in a gap in care.

Here, home care might be needed. Alternatively, if the older person’s usual carer had significant care duties, a short-term stay in a care home might be required. For example, if an older person’s spouse was providing care duties all day, and the spouse suddenly becomes unwell, a care home might be the best replacement for that high level of care.

Sudden downturns in health

Sometimes medical conditions can worsen without any external factor, like an accident, as a cause. That’s not uncommon in the oldest cohort of elderly people whose health may be fragile due to very old age.

Additionally, sometimes an unexpected diagnosis comes out of nowhere and means an older person needs very different care.

In these cases, home care, residential care or even palliative care might be needed on an emergency basis.

How to get care for elderly family members in an emergency

If you’ve experienced one of these situations, you might realise it’s time to arrange emergency elderly care. How? There are a few ways to get started.

It’s worth mentioning that usually you can start the process of seeking care through a care needs assessment done by your local council. This assessment will tell you what care an older person needs and how much of it the council will help with. It will also guide you as to how you can obtain care.

However, in emergency situations, obtaining a care needs assessment might not work quickly enough. That’s where some of these other methods come into play.

Hospital assessments

When an older person is being discharged from hospital, they’ll often receive a care needs assessment that describes what care they’ll need after they leave.

If your older relative needs care because they’re leaving hospital, it’s best to first see what the hospital’s assessment of their needs is. The hospital will often also help you to arrange this care.

Contacting a GP

If an older person has had an accident or injury or a sudden downturn in health, reaching out to their GP is likely a good place to start with getting care. A GP is also likely to be able to provide suggestions about where and how to obtain care.

Google searching

There’s also the option of simply searching for emergency elderly care providers near you – whether that’s carers who can come to the home or residential facilities.

Just be sure that you take a look at the Care Quality Commission website and, if applicable, home care service reviews to ensure you’re getting high-quality care.

How SureSafe can help while you’re arranging care

It’s good to know that emergency care is there to provide help fast.

However, even most private emergency elderly care services don’t promise that care will be in place immediately. At best, a service might say that help can be with you in as little as 24 hours.

That’s why a personal alarm for the elderly from SureSafe is a great tool for emergency situations as well as for the everyday. If you’re pulling together family and friends to provide care in the hours before a more formal solution is in place, a personal alarm can help.

That’s because a personal alarm can allow an older person in a fragile state of health to call for help with the single press of a button. When you’re worried about an elderly person being alone as you help them with a crisis – such as getting an emergency prescription filled – a SureSafe alarm can provide assurance that they can get help if they need it.

Similarly, a personal alarm with fall detection gives peace of mind that even if an older person is unconscious when they fall, a call for help will go out anyway. For seniors who are recovering from a fall, this type of alarm can soothe anxieties about the same accident happening again.

How else can SureSafe alarms help protect seniors on a daily basis and in times of crisis? To talk with us about what our personal alarms can do for you, just give us a call on 0800 112 3201. Also, we’re available through live chat, or you can request a call back.

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