Demography is destiny: An agenda for geriatric emergency medicine in Australasia

Authors

  • Glenn Arendts,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Primary, Aboriginal and Rural Health Care, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    • Centre for Clinical Research in Emergency Medicine, Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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    • Glenn Arendts, MBBS, MMed, FACEM, Associate Professor; Judy Lowthian, BAppSc, MPH, PhD, Senior Research Fellow.
  • Judy Lowthian

    1. Centre for Research Excellence in Patient Safety, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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    • Glenn Arendts, MBBS, MMed, FACEM, Associate Professor; Judy Lowthian, BAppSc, MPH, PhD, Senior Research Fellow.

Correspondence: Associate Professor Glenn Arendts, Centre for Clinical Research in Emergency Medicine, Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, GPO Box X2213, Perth, WA 6847, Australia. Email: glenn.arendts@uwa.edu.au

Abstract

The present paper presents an agenda for geriatric emergency medicine research, education and policy development. Herein we will argue:

  1. Population ageing is the definitive health policy challenge in Australasia, and the greatest stressor for emergency medicine posed by population ageing is the disproportionate contribution of older people to hospital occupancy.
  2. ED practices and models of care may on occasions contribute to rather than reduce high hospital occupancy in older people, benefitting neither individual patients nor the community at large.
  3. Geriatric emergency medicine priorities can be conceptualised using a simple framework, and this process will facilitate a research and policy focus on how to achieve equivalent or improved care for older people with less hospital occupancy.

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