Improved Service to Older Patients in ER

The Washington Post reported that a local hospital in the Washington, DC metropolitan area (Holy Cross in Silver Spring, Maryland) has initiated a new service for older patients to make their visit to the emergency room (ER) a better experience.

Holy Cross chief executive Kevin Sexton said the idea for an emergency room for older people came to him after he got a call from his mother from an ER in New Jersey. 'It was clear she was really stressed out,' he said. 'It was the combination of her being there quite some time and it being very crowded and chaotic. It came to me we really do treat seniors poorly in that setting.'

The aging of Montgomery County contributed to the decision to open the center: 70 percent of anticipated population growth over the next decade will be people older than 65, according to Sexton. 'An enormous demand for services is going to befall hospitals,' he said. 'Figuring out how to do it better without bankrupting us all is going to be one of the challenges.'

The senior emergency center is a first step in the hospital's long-term plan to become known for serving older people. It's an unusual concept: An expert at the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine could think of only one similar facility, located at Nassau University Medical Center in New York.

"Serenity In Emergencies: A Silver Spring ER Aims to Serve Older Patients" By Beth Baker, Special to The Washington Post, Tuesday, January 27, 2009; Page HE01

Read the full article for more information about this program. Hopefully more hospitals across the country will follow their lead.

Call for Review and Participation: WAI-AGE Literature Review and Task Force

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) sent out a call for review of its First Public Working Draft of Web Accessibility for Older Users: A Literature Review, one of the WAI-AGE project deliverables. It was published 14 March 2008, and WAI encourages review and comments, all to be submitted by 4 June 2008, if possible.

This draft document reviews and analyzes guidelines and articles covering the requirements of people with Web accessibility needs related to ageing. The purpose of the literature review is to inform education and outreach to better promote accessibility solutions for older Web users, and potentially develop profiles or extensions to WAI guidelines.

A mail from Shawn Henry on the WAI Interest Group list explains that

The Web Accessibility Initiative: Ageing Education and Harmonisation (WAI-AGE) Project is a European Commission-funded project that focuses on education and outreach regarding the requirements of people with Web accessibility needs related to ageing.

You can learn more about the project on the WAI-AGE Project page. You can also consider joining the task force that is being formed.