Geriatric Emergency Medicine

Geriatric Emergency Medicine

Geriatric Emergency Multidisciplinary Service (GEMS) based in the Emergency Department is made up of healthcare professionals from different clinical disciplines who all have expertise in looking after older adults. 

The aim of GEMS is to provide early Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment for older adults coming to our emergency department who are living with or at risk of frailty. Comprehensive geriatric assessment means that we look at the person as a whole rather than only focusing on the reason why you have come to hospital, to develop a treatment plan that addresses what matters most to you.  

This will usually include a:

  • Physical Assessment – looking at your medical issues and nutrition
  • Functional Assessment – looking at your walking, balance and how well you can carry out ‘activities of daily living’ (these include washing, dressing, using the toilet etc)
  • Psychological Assessment – looking at mood and memory
  • Social Assessment – looking at your living arrangements and social supports.


Unfortunately there are lots of hazards associated with hospitalisation for older adults. These include worsening of mobility, muscle wastage, confusion, agitation and incontinence. Sometimes admission is necessary, but if possible we will try to support older adults in their own home. To do this we use our community services like the Rapid Access Service in St. Finbarr’s Hospital or our Ambulatory Outreach Team who will conduct nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy assessments in the person’s own home. 

Ultimately the goal is to deliver the right care in the right place at the right time to ensure older adults continue to be healthy, happy and independent throughout their lives. 

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