Emergency rooms and medical clinics are facing new challenges as the baby boomer population is aging. By 2030, studies have shown that 6 out of 10 people in this age group will develop various medical issues. Here are some of the leading medical conditions that senior citizens are dealing with.
Falls are one of the most common accidents that senior citizens encounter leading to other problems. If you or someone in your family falls, chances are there will be other issues from broken bones to a head injury. It’s really important you get to a urgent care in San Diego as soon as possible to get a thorough examination. Falls are actually preventable unlike certain health issues so make sure your home or apartment is fitted with devices to prevent falls such as hand rails in the shower or tub. Senior citizens can lose their balance due to a weakened back or unsteady legs or suddenly become dizzy, with some safety measures installed, falls can be preventable.
Chest pains can be caused by a number of reasons but are quite alarming when it happens to older people. Pains can be caused by anything as minor as acid reflux to a high-alert heart attack. If you or a loved one is experiencing chest pains it’s extremely important to get to your doctor or hospital in a timely manner. There are many other issues that can cause chest pain so it’s important a doctor diagnoses what has happened and hopefully give you some peace of mind or understand you have a serious situation that must be treated immediately.
Pneumonia or other upper respiratory infections are common and can be very serious in older adults. Some symptoms are coughing, shortness of breath and even confusion. In most cases, it’s advisable you get yourself or family member to the emergency room as soon as possible.
In older people, abdominal pain can be caused by a number of issues such as an infection, dehydration, digestive problems, or more serious conditions. It’s always wise to visit your doctor for an examination to determine what’s going on.
If a senior family member has a stroke, there is no time to waste. You must act very quickly and call for an ambulance. Strokes can prevent the flow of oxygen to the brain and further damage to the body. Symptoms to watch out for include slurring of speech, loss of motor skills, a loss of vision, weakness, and paralysis.
It is very important that if you or a family member suffers from any of these symptoms you should get to a walk in clinic or an emergency room before contacting your family doctor. Once there has been an examination and diagnosis, the doctor will be able to recommend the next step or what treatments will be applied.
As baby boomers continue to age, they are facing more physical challenges and must be aware if their body is trying to tell them something. No one enjoys aging, but it’s a fact of life and in order to live a long and happy one, medical treatments are going to pop up from time to time. You should know your medical options when your doctor is not available, such as local urgent care clinics vs emergency rooms.
Every flu season is different; the flu vaccines change each year to combat the ever-changing strains of the virus. Flu viruses circulate at a significantly higher level during the months of August through May. Our flu vaccines are available in all of our clinics (La Jolla, Hillcrest, Clairemont, and Kensington) starting today, August 22, 2017.
Scheduling: Feel free to walk into any of our locations anytime or if you prefer to schedule by phone, please call 858.554.1212. Appointments are not required!
Cost: Generally, insurance plans cover the entire cost of the vaccinations. You can always call your specific insurance plan to ensure the cost is covered. If you do not have insurance, our self-pay price is $45.00 for a low dose or $60.00 for a high dose.
Why?: A few good reasons to get the flu shot are..
-Save money on sick days; Approximately 111 million working days are lost to flu every year.
-Avoid more severe health issues; influenza can last up to two weeks, in severe cases may even lead to death, the flu shot is linked to a decrease in the likelihood of heart attacks
-Protect your friends and family; the flu virus is very contagious and spreads quickly
What to do when you twist your ankle Saturday morning or your toddler develops a nasty cough in the middle of the night? Of course, you can visit your nearest emergency room, but is it worth it? You run the risk of waiting for hours before being seen, not to mention waiting in a room full of sick people. How much will that visit cost? You weigh up the pros and cons of your apparent two choices – waiting days to be seen at your doctor’s office or potentially waiting hours in an emergency room. You have a third option: consider visiting an urgent care or walk-in clinic. Choose not to suffer through days of discomfort waiting to get an appointment at your doctor’s office, and likewise not to spend hours and hundreds of dollars at an emergency room. There are many differences between a walk-in clinic and an emergency room, and a multitude of reasons that make a walk-in clinic a better choice for many people in numerous situations.
Shorter Wait Times
One of the main benefits of going to an urgent care clinic rather than an emergency room is the difference in wait time. If you have an urgent but non-emergent injury or illness, you will continue to wait at an emergency room as patients with more severe ailments take priority, regardless of arrival time. At walk-in clinics, patients are seen on a first-come-first-serve basis. This fact, among other factors, results in a drastic difference of wait time to be seen by a healthcare professional as well as total time spent at the facility. At a walk-in clinic you can typically expect to be seen by a provider within minutes, and spend no more than 90 minutes in total at the clinic. Although wait times at an emergency room vary, a wait of a couple hours before being seen by a provider can be expected.
The cost of an emergency room visit can substantially exceed a visit to an urgent care clinic, in some cases as much as 20 times the cost of visit to urgent care. Treatments can vary wildly in cost at an emergency room, much more so than in an urgent care facility. Further, if you choose to be seen at an emergency room rather than an urgent care clinic for a “minor” symptom such as a cough, your insurance company may deny coverage and you could be required to pay out of pocket for the visit.
Closer to Home
Walk-in clinics continue to expand, adding more locations and options for the community. With the expansion of these clinics, you will undoubtedly find one convenient for you, close to home or work. For example, Perlman Clinic has four locations, soon opening a fifth!
Longer Hours than Doctors’ Offices
Most physicians’ office hours are between 9-5 Monday through Friday, sometimes open as late as 6 P.M. Considering full-time work and school, it can be difficult to make time for an appointment during these hours. Urgent care clinics are designed to accommodate work and school schedules, providing their patients with extended hours, sometimes including weekend hours.
Better Patient-to-Staff Ratio
Urgent care clinics, like Perlman Clinic, employ a higher number of health care professionals than an emergency room. Beyond the better patient-to-staff ratio generally offered by clinics versus emergency rooms, Perlman Clinic schedules two patients per hour per provider versus a majority of clinics, who schedule between three and five patients per hour. This means their providers can spend more time with patients, answering questions and building a relationship. Patients feel attended to and cared for by nurses and doctors that aren’t distracted and harried.
Another advantage to scheduling fewer patients per provider is the clinics’ availability to provide education to their patients. You will benefit by learning about your diagnosis and treatment, and in some cases be informed when you should seek emergency care or a follow up appointment to monitor your recovery.
More Services than an Emergency Room
Most emergency rooms only provide patients with a one-time visit to service their immediate ailment. Patients are then left to schedule an appointment for follow-up with a doctor who doesn’t know their history, as well as a new set of costs associated. If a referral is needed, we are now looking at a third set of appointments and fees. However, Perlman Clinic offers more services than urgent care alone, including primary care, pain management, integrative medicine, concierge medicine, and endocrinology. There is a confidence in knowing that the same group of people who aided in your immediate affliction will be the same group who will see you back to health. Read our article on the difference between Emergency Rooms & urgent care clinics for more info.
Who Should Use a Walk-In Clinic?
If you are someone experiencing a mild to moderate injury or illness, a walk-in clinic is a great option for a consultation and treatment on a walk-in or appointment basis. Prescription needs, referrals and follow-up visits, as well as additional services will be seen to at a walk-in clinic, and with much less cost and time spent.