Hospitals work to create senior-friendly environments

Huron Perth

A stay in hospital can be overwhelming for anyone. For seniors in particular, it can create a greater level of frailty, or sometimes lead to more health problems.

A province-wide initiative, The Senior Friendly Hospital Strategy, is helping seniors stay healthy while they are hospitalized, so they can safely return home. Across Ontario, hospitals will consider senior friendliness in everything they do from how they renovate their facilities, to the equipment and furniture they purchase, to the look of their signage.

When seniors are hospitalized, they can experience a decline in their physical abilities because of extended periods of bed rest and decreased activity. For every day of bed rest, older adult patients lose 1-5 per cent of muscle strength. (Morton, 1993)

A nurse listens to a patients heart at Alexandra Marine and General Hospital in GoderishIn the South West LHIN, 11 hospital teams are carrying out projects in their hospitals, including:

  • Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, Listowel and Wingham Hospital Alliance and Grey Bruce Health Services are working to better identify and treat delirium (sudden onset of medical confusion)
  • Alexandra Marine and General Hospital is helping patients be more physically active while they are hospitalized

 

Not only will these improvements prevent unnecessary physical and medical decline while seniors are in hospital, it will prevent future hospital stays, and allow them to remain independent in their homes longer. For more information visit seniorfriendlyhospitals.ca