Emergency Department Management of Elderly Patients

Persons 65 years and older make up 20% to 40% of Emergency Department (ED) patients in the United States. Nationally, ED visits by elderly patients have increased by more than 34% in the last decade. One of the reasons for this is that many elderly patients are surviving with multiple, complex, chronic health conditions. As a result, elderly patients in the ED are more likely to have complex illness presentations with multiple comorbidities, which presents unique challenges in this vulnerable population. As the ‘boomer’ generation comes of age, the number of older people will continue to grow, as will their need for ED care. The purpose of this course is to review the common geriatric syndromes and other ‘aging’ concerns encountered in the ED as well as the appropriate strategies that ED nurses and other healthcare professionals can utilize to improve outcomes.

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Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to describe the:

  1. Extent and consequences of ED utilization by elderly patients.
  2. Special needs of elderly patients in the ED.
  3. Atypical presentation of illness by elderly patients.
  4. Common geriatric syndromes encountered in the ED.
  5. Assessment and management of geriatric syndromes.
  6. Design of the ED for elderly patients.
  7. Appropriate ED discharge of elderly patients.


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Age-Related Changes

Chapter 3: Atypical Presentations of Illness

Chapter 4: Assessment of Elderly Patients in the ED

Chapter 5: Delirium

Chapter 6: Dementia

Chapter 7: Falls and Syncope

Chapter 8: Frailty

Chapter 9: Polypharmacy

Chapter 10: ED Discharge

Chapter 11: Designing EDs for Elderly Patients

Chapter 12: Course Summary

Chapter 13: References

Chapter 14: Appendix

  • Differences Between Delirium and Dementia
  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $24.00

Contact Hours: 2

Course Author

Rein Tideiksaar

Rein Tideiksaar, PhD, PA-C, or Dr. Rein as he is commonly referred to, is the president of Fall Prevent, LLC, Blackwood, New Jersey, a consulting company that provides educational, legal, and marketing services related to fall prevention in the elderly.

Dr. Tideiksaar is a gerontologist, which is a health care professional who specializes in working with elderly patients, and a geriatric physician's assistant. He has been active in the area of fall prevention for over thirty years. 

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