Purpose: Older prisoners being released into the community need to be placed in a system to help them transition from living in prison to living in a free society. They must adapt in order to find housing, community services, medical, dental and psychiatric care. When the complex social needs of these persons are not fully met, the emergency department is used as a safety net.

Methods and Findings: This paper describes a patient who had multiple emergency department visits which was his routine method of seeking medical care.

Health Care Policy Implications: We believe that public health policy requiring a comprehensive geriatrics assessment with a focus on memory and abilities prior to release from prison for older inmates may optimize care. The emergency department in this case is in a unique position to provide geriatric appropriate assessments and hopefully halt the multiple emergency department visits. Changes in public health policy may be beneficial in the care of our patient. Clinicians may be able to advocate for changes in public policy through their health system public policy advocate or professional organizations. This change may positively impact unnecessary ED usage and reduce expenditure.




March 28th, 2022


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