Kent Hospital’s ACE unit is just one specialized program in Care New England’s Healthy Aging and Serious Illness service line, meant to diagnose, treat, and manage many of the specific issues that are impacting the health and quality of life for our community’s aging population.
While no one wants to be in the hospital, our unit is best equipped to meet each patient’s unique needs. We have structured our program here to ensure that patients have access to a broad interdisciplinary team including hospitalists, social workers, pharmacists, occupational and physical therapists, nurses, and geriatric medicine specialists (physicians or clinicians who specialize in the care of older adults).
Our goal is to help patients return to good health, preventing functional decline while in the hospital, by working with patients and caregivers to develop the best long-term approach to wellness. Our team works with patients and families to create a hospital care plan that is focused on each patient’s individual needs and meets the goals of care.
There will be daily (Monday through Friday) care rounds led by a geriatrician and/or geriatric nurse practitioner. To ensure patients are ready to go home with everything they need and there are no delays, discharge planning is initiated from the day of admission.
There will be ongoing communication of team recommendations with the patient, doctor, nurse, family, or another caregiver, and we will coordinate family meetings to help do this.
Another way we care for patients is to help them get out of the bed and walk around as much as possible and sit in a chair during meals. We perform a baseline assessment of mobility and provide occupational/physical therapy as needed.
It is important for us to understand each patient’s risk of delirium, so we perform cognitive assessments and ensure appropriate sleep while in the hospital. We also provide support to prevent delirium from hospitalization.
We conduct a detailed medication review, provide pharmacy consultation, and focus on avoiding potentially inappropriate medications for older adults and discuss opportunities to simplify medication lists for once a patient is discharged.
We are committed to increasing conversations between health care teams, patients, and their families about “what matters,” We meet with all patients to be sure we understand what their goals are for the hospitalization and their health care in general.