Seniors often require specialized care when they are hospitalized. “ACE” hospital units (Acute Care of the Elderly) are inpatient centers for senior adults that aim to promote healing and reduce anxiety from hospitalization. ACE units address the unique needs of patients 65 and older with an interdisciplinary team of highly-trained doctors and staff members. Family involvement and patient participation is highly encouraged to improve each patient’s functionality and independence so they can return home as soon as possible.
Goals of ACE units
• Increased mobility and independence
• Reduction in hospital length of stay
• Minimal readmissions
• Optimal functioning of mind and body
• Patient comfort and dignity
• Prevent or reduce falls, skin breakdown, functional decline, immobility and delirium
• Safe and quick discharge to home
Studies have shown that patients treated at ACE units are less likely to experience functional decline and complications during hospitalizations and are more likely to be discharged to their own homes instead of nursing homes. This article will cover some of the many added benefits of Acute Care of the Elderly units for seniors.
Benefits ACE units provide
• Wide range of specialized doctors and staff – Most ACE units have highly trained Geriatricians, Dieticians, Pharmacists, Social Workers and Physical Therapists available to make sure all of the senior medical needs are met. The ACE teams are specifically trained in geriatric care which enables them to provide comprehensive treatment for the individual needs of each senior.
• Personalized treatment – Each morning patients are seen by their healthcare team who discuss the treatment plan, with each member bringing their specific area of expertise to the table. The team will continue to monitor and evaluate each patient’s plan of care and make any changes necessary.
• Fall Prevention – ACE units are designed with seniors in mind. There are handrails throughout the units and non-skid flooring surfaces to prevent falls.
• Precisely designed for seniors – ACE units have elevated toilets, grab bars and emergency pulls in their bathrooms. Clocks and signage are large and easy to read. Beds are lower and easier to get in and out for increased mobility. There are night lights in every patient room. Video monitoring is available for patients that need extra supervision. Mattresses are thicker to help prevent pressure ulcers (bed sores).
• Home-like environment – The décor is warm, peaceful and open which makes it seem more like a home instead of a hospital. Furnishings are generally modern and lighting is indirect. Patient comfort is always key in ACEs.
• Physical therapy – Patients are encouraged to get up and walk around at least twice daily. Assistance is available for those who need it. Physical therapy is offered in an open environment for groups sessions as well as private one-on-one settings.
• Medication education – Seniors treating at ACE units are often taking multiple prescribed medications. The medical team and pharmacists will review each patient’s list of medications to help prevent any harmful drug interactions. The more each person knows about the medicines they take, the easier it is to avoid any problems associated with taking those medicines.
• Dining room – Seniors have the option to eat all three meals in the communal dining room each day. There, they are able to socialize with other patients as well as any visiting family members.
OakBend Medical Center is proud to offer the only Acute Care for the Elderly Unit in all of Fort Bend county. Their interdisciplinary team focuses on safety, prevention of pressure ulcers, preservation of functionally and safe discharge. If you would like more information about Houston’s’ state-of-the-art ACE unit please click here to see their brochure. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour today please call 281-341-3000.