June 04, 2018
The purpose of the ACE (Acute Care or the Elderly) unit is based on evidence based research which shows that elderly patients who are cared for in a homelike environment, have decreased incidents of hospital complications, such as delirium, decreased morbidity and mortality, improved function, cost savings, and decreased lengths of stay. Supported with funding from the Sealy and Smith Foundation, a 40-bed unit, with 24 large and 16 standard-sized private rooms was constructed. The floors are carpeted to decrease glare, sound, and pad falls. Age- and ethnicity-appropriate paintings adorn the unit to promote a sense of “home” and encourage reminiscence. Special lighting helps aging vision. The nursing station is decentralized: with a reception desk and nurses are spread throughout the unit. A living room is furnished with a couch, chairs and tables. There is a kitchen area where patients and family can get coffee and a snack. A large fish tank and a piano were donated to the unit. ACE unit Volunteers, play for the patients on a weekly basis. The largest patient rooms are furnished with foldout sofa beds. The staff encourages family members to stay and be involved in the care of the patients. Eligibility for admission to the ACE unit is 70 years of age and older with any variety of acute medical or surgical problems that do not need intensive care treatment. The unit also supports hospice and palliative care patients who need end of life care.