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Local ER's Making Hospital Visits More Comfortable For Elderly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Changes are being made in the local emergency room to make it more comfortable for older patients.

A visit to the local emergency room is rarely pleasant, but for senior citizens it can be more of a challenge according to Dr. Gregory Cuculino, Chairman of the Emergency Department for Crozer Keystone Health System:

"A lot of times the rooms can be dimmer, the beds not as thick, so a little more uncomfortable, things smaller such as clocks, the floor is slippery so there are physical challenges they face just by being in the ER."

Now the system is setting aside patient rooms that address those issues to make the older patient more comfortable.

"Many years ago, people identified that pediatrics had special needs," Dr.Cuculino said, "so everybody had little pediatrics room for the ER and do pediatric friendly things in the ER and the geriatric population was kind of forgotten about. Now people realize that maybe at both ends of the age spectrum we need to do something special."

He says while older patients are in the emergency room, health officials are using the time to assess the patient's home situation to determine if they are coping well or need outside assistance.

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