The health and safety of all our patients is a top priority. For individuals over 65, we understand that health needs are often more complicated and require additional assessment, communication, and support. About 50% of hospital stays are attributed to older adults, and patients diagnosed with dementia and another disease have a hospital stay that is three times longer than patients with only physical illness. Our goal is to provide innovative care to improve clinical outcomes while maintaining wellness and reducing risk of functional decline in the hospital.
As our population grows older we recognize that the healthcare needs for older patients will change as well. Older adults are at risk for many health-related conditions including:
- Increase in falls and injuries
- Changes in quality of sleep
- Vision impairment
- Hearing loss
- Adverse events due to use of multiple medications
- Food insecurity or poor nutrition
- Lack of exercise
Our trained providers are innovating care to fit the needs of each patient. Age-friendly improvements include:
- Removing IV poles and other lines/tubes
- Clearing paths for patients at risk of falling
- Providing blankets and dimmer lights for individuals who have sleeping difficulty
- Increasing food availability at all hours to ensure proper nutrition
- For patients with dementia, our volunteers provide activities to keep patients active and engaged
- Developing walking plans to keep patients physically active
We have a vision for the kind of care we want to provide our older adult patients. We have a team of nurses and geriatric volunteers who are trained and educated in the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program, a nursing education program designed to improve geriatric care in hospitals. As a senior-friendly environment, we have implemented evidence-based clinical procedures so that we can provide you and your loved ones with the highest level of care while improving the well-being of our older patients.
A focus on geriatric care begins when you enter our ACEP geriatric accredited Emergency Department and continues upon admission to our inpatient units. Our geriatric-trained providers — which include case managers, registered nurses, and physical/occupational therapists — deliver increased and ongoing communication between care providers and families that focuses on individualized care plans. After completing a patient safety assessment to identify risks, we'll implement strategies to make your stay safer.
The "4M" Model of Care
What Matters: We work with older adults and their families to determine what their health outcome goals are and how they can be accomplished.
Medication: If medications need to be prescribed, we use age-friendly medications and work with our older patients to determine the best treatment for their health goals.
Mentation: We'll assess our older patients for delirium and dementia. Our care team is trained to understand the needs of these patients, including orienting the patients to the environment, providing adaptive equipment and sleep enhancement strategies.
Mobility: We screen our older patients for mobility limitations and work to create safe walking plans and physical therapy plans.
Long Term Care
For patients needing long term care, our case managers will work with you to provide resources for continued care. Opportunities to receive at-home visits from a visiting nurse or physical therapist, enrollment in a palliative care or rehabilitation program, or medication management will be made available to you. Your health and well being are at the center of everything we do and we'll ensure optimal transition of care from our facility to improve the quality of your life.