Critical Need for Emergency Department Innovations to Improve Care for Seniors

The proportion of the U.S. population over 65 years of age is significantly increasing.

In 2015, 46 million seniors made up 15% of the U.S. population. That number is expected to double to more than 98 million, representing nearly 24% of the population by 20601. As the population ages, the proportion of older adults requiring healthcare services is significantly increasing.

Seniors account for a disproportionate number of Emergency Department (ED) visits in the U.S.

More seniors are turning to the ED to address their healthcare needs. In 2009-2010, 19.6 million ED visits were made by patients aged 65 and over (15% of all ED visits)2. The rate at which seniors utilize the ED will continue to increase for years to come3.

Once in the ED, seniors are more likely to be admitted to the hospital than any other age group.

In 2013, 14% of all ED visits in the U.S. resulted in hospitalization, but the rate for seniors was 36%4. Seniors made up 46% of all ED visits resulting in hospitalization5. Among those over 65 years old, the percent of hospitalizations originating in the ED increases with age6.