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General Geriatric Standard

In situations involving a geriatric patient, the paramedic shall:

  1. assume that all geriatric patients are capable of normal hearing, sight, speech, mobility and mental function unless information is provided to the contrary;

Guideline

  • Geriatric patients can present with atypical signs and symptoms and may have co-morbidities.
  • Diminished responses to pain, infection, heat/cold may lead the patient and the paramedic to underestimate the severity of the illness/injury.
  • Geriatric patients are susceptible to skin tearing, abrasions, and bruising; use caution when handling the patient.
  • Geriatric patients are more likely to experience adverse effects from medication use.
  1. assess living accommodations, living situation, and consider the patient’s ability to perform activities of daily living;

Guideline

  • Consider referral to local agency resources, when appropriate, e.g. Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), 211.
  • Activities of daily living include:
    • Bathing
    • Dressing
    • Transferring (e.g. movement and mobility)
    • Toileting
    • Eating
  • If a relative, friend or neighbor is available, they may be able to provide, if necessary, collateral information, such as patient’s usual level of function and available support.
  1. be aware of patient presentations associated with elder abuse; and

Guideline

Forms of elder abuse include:

  • Financial abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect
  1. if elder abuse is suspected,
    1. and police not on-scene, offer to contact police; and
    2. alert receiving facility staff. 

Contact

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
5700 Yonge Street, 6th Floor
Toronto, ON M2M 4K5

416-327-7900

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