40 / 27
      43 / 33
      43 / 32

      Mercy Hospital Grayling senior emergency care

      For Suzanne and Don Pennell, emergency situations are their specialty.

      "We're on the fire department. We do fire and ambulance calls, been on the department for 13 years," says Don Pennell.

      You could say the couple deals with emergencies on a daily basis for their job, but one summer day last July, they turned to the ER for their own personal situation.

      "He had been doing wood and he came in in and said, 'I don't feel right and I have some pain.' " says Suzanne Pennell.

      The pain became progressively worse as the day went on for 67-year old Don.

      "We got up and went to the ER in Grayling. All we know was there was severe pain," says Suzanne.

      It was a rush to the emergency room at Mercy Hospital Grayling where the couple found a sense of comfort.

      "It was the most welcome comfort in a place you would not expect it. When we got there they processed us very quickly. The hardest part was waiting for the diagnosis," says Suzanne.

      Don's pain ended up being the result of a gallbladder attack, but it was the care he received that he remembers the most.

      "It was very nice. I was comfortable," says Don.

      "When we designed the new er department we really focused on making sure the patients had more comfort so each room is private, handrails on the walls," says Amanda Janisse the project manager of the senior emergency room for Mercy Hospital Grayling.

      The senior ER at Mercy Hospital Grayling opened in May 2011. Janisse says with the increasing number of seniors in the area, it only makes sense to have a department with specialized features.

      "We have a population of 30% in the area over the age of 65. About 21% of the ER department is over the age of 65, which is higher than the national average," says Janisse.

      It's a growing statistic that has the hospital providing an extra layer of comfort.

      "Seniors tend to be the highest population we admit to the hospital. If patients have vision problems or hearing problems we have special tools to help them communicate with our staff. We realized that what we do for our senior population is really good for all the population, really good for all," says Janisse.

      For more information about the senior emergency department at Mercy Hospital Grayling click here.