The number of elderly patients presenting to emergency services is gradually increasing. Given that the needs of older patients differ from those of other patients, the quality of emergency care for this patient group also varies. This mixed-method study aimed to reveal the views of emergency service staff concerning ageing and elderly patients. Participants were 19 physicians and 17 nurses employed by the adult emergency service of a university hospital. Data were gathered using questionnaires and focus group interviews. Frequency and percentages were used to evaluate quantitative data. Open-ended questions used to gather quantitative data were analysed using thematic analysis and four themes (including understanding older patients' situations, good nursing care and medical treatment, affecting good nursing care and medical treatment, emotions experienced) were determined. Emergency department staff identified older patients as dependent individuals requiring health care. Nurses indicated that good care for older patients included ensuring that their physical, social, and psychological needs were met; whereas, physicians identified good treatment as improving the quality of life. Impediments to the care and treatment of older patients were identified as staff shortages, emergency service crowding, and lack of proper training for emergency department staff. Emergency department staff also indicated that they experienced weariness and exhaustion while providing health care for older patients. Emergency nurses and physicians were aware of older patients and their needs but experienced difficulties regarding patient density, physical settings, staff shortages, and a lack of training. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.