Many seniors who have home medical alert devices are prepared to reach out for help by way of a base unit or fall detection system. But when a senior needs to go out for groceries or to pick up a prescription, they may not be able to reach out as easily. Investing in a portable medical alert device, carrying a medical alert card in one’s wallet, or wearing a medical bracelet or identification tag are all effective solutions for active seniors.
Greensboro, North Carolina is quickly becoming a hotspot for retirees fleeing from the cold winters of the North. Guilford County, which is home to Greensboro, and the state of North Carolina, saw a 31 percent increase in the senior population since the late 2000. This number is projected to grow through 2030 with 34,589 persons over the age of 95, 233,090 over the age of 85 and 2 million over the age of 65.
With such a large aging demographic, it is no wonder that emergency responders and the rest of the state’s response systems are a bit overburdened. North Carolina ranks in the bottom ten states in the nation, with average wait times in the emergency room of 26 minutes. That does not include the additional 54 minutes to have a broken bone treated, receive medication or be admitted for X-rays. Admissions times also run long at 110 minutes, with discharge being completed in 153 minutes. All told, an older adult should expect to spend nearly six hours waiting for care.
Driving time to the hospital also averages on the high side, at 36 to 41 minutes. In order to help ER personnel and paramedics, seniors might want to ensure they have a wallet card or medical identification tag that can speak on their behalf should they be rattled from a wreck or simply have a minor moment of forgetfulness.
Greensboro boasts seven top hospitals, with Wake Forest Baptist Medical leading the way. This hospital is ranked 33rd in the nation for geriatric care, specializes in four adult procedures, and has an even more focused approach on seven conditions, including cancer treatment, orthopedics, diabetes, hip replacements and knee replacements.
What’s more, the greater region, also known as Tobacco Road, has other medical care facilities and university-based treatment options such as Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina. Seniors are certainly in good hands when it comes to long-term conditions and chronic diseases when they elect to make Greensboro home.
Traffic accident rates are high in Greensboro. In order to provide seniors with a safe place to age with grace, the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services is working hard to provide shuttle programs and transportation options. Still, seniors who want to maintain their independence by way of operating a motor vehicle should take precautions such as having their eyes routinely checked or being sure to alert a friend, partner or family member of their intended destination and return time.
Greensboro is certainly a great town to consider as a long-term retirement destination. The city and county offer fun local activities, museums and a university-town feel that will keep everyone young at heart. In order to enjoy a high standard of living and an optimal quality of life, an older adult may want to take just one or two precautions when venturing into town. Carrying a simple wallet card or wearing a medical identification bracelet could help first responders or concerned citizens get an older adult specialized care in the event they forget where they are or have a minor car accident. Being prepared does not mean sacrificing independence so much as it means prolonging it!