The Payson Regional Medical Center’s service area has a population of about 50,000 people with an average age of 58. So to make visits to the emergency department more comfortable for the aging population it serves, PRMC has made some modifications.
Under the guidance of Director Carl Valenti, the emergency room now has medical reclining chairs rather than regular hospital beds, larger clocks and warmed blankets and slippers. The emergency room has taken an extra step to improve communication between the medical professionals and patients, including making notes on a white board during each visit. Patients can use walkers and gait belts as well as bedside commodes and handrails along the walls.
Speaking at the first Senior Circle Lunch & Learn of 2014, Valenti said recent studies show that those 65 and older will have six to seven health care encounters every year — some of those in the emergency department.
“Often and emergency room visit by an older patient will be where emergent conditions are discovered that require admission to the hospital,” Valenti said.
In addition, two emergency department nurses have taken part in a Geriatric Emergency Nursing Education program and will bring their training back to the rest of the department’s staff, Valenti said.
He invites anyone who would like to see the modifications to make arrangements for a visit. Valenti said to call Jan Parsons, adviser for the Payson Regional Medical Center Senior Circle, (928) 472-9260.