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Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center Pleased to Announce Opening of Senior ER

First Emergency Room for Seniors in the County

Rockledge, FL (March 12, 2014) – Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce the opening of an emergency room to accommodate Brevard’s County growing number of senior citizens. The new space is designed for and dedicated to seniors. The 12 beds feature brightly-colored rooms, non-slip mats under the beds, thicker mattresses and pads, bigger clocks, magnifying glasses, hearing aids, bigger TV’s and more. This is the first Senior ER in Brevard County—and only the second one in the State of Florida.

The Senior ER at Health First Holmes opened in February and has seen and treated more than 500 patients so far. “An emergency room experience for someone older can be confusing and disorienting,” said Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center President Sean Gregory. “Seniors need a calm, quiet space with staff trained in geriatrics providing care in an elder friendly environment where the pace is slower so they can be comfortable enough to tell their story at their own pace.”

Patients who enter the emergency room go through a screening process to see if the Senior Emergency Room is right for them. That includes assessments for dementia, fall risk, nutrition, medication and depression.

Here are some additional interesting facts:

  • 65 years of age make up 21.6% of Brevard's population compared to 18.2% in the whole of Florida
  • According to a recent study, in the last decade, visits to emergency rooms by seniors have increased by 34% nationally and this is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years
  • Seniors have complex healthcare needs beyond the actual issue that prompted the emergency room visit
  • Seniors tend to be sicker, have multiple medical problems, need more nursing time, stay longer in the emergency room, need more testing and are more likely to be admitted to the hospital.

About Health First

Founded in 1995, Health First is a fully integrated health system. The not-for-profit employs more than 7,500 people and has four hospitals (including Cape Canaveral Hospital, Holmes Regional Medical Center, Palm Bay Hospital and Viera Hospital). Health First Health Plans also offers a wide variety of health insurance plan options for Brevard and Indian River Counties. In addition, Health First is home to Brevard County’s only Trauma Center. Health First Medical Group is the largest multi-specialty physician group on the Space Coast. Health First offers numerous outpatient and wellness services, including four Pro-Health and Fitness Centers. Visit www.Health-First.org for more information.