The Myers Automotive Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE) Unit is a 34-bed unit at QCH that provides acute care in an elder-friendly environment for patients over 65 years of age who are admitted through our emergency department that have multiple chronic health conditions that are seeing a decline in their functional abilities and often face complex social issues.
The interdisciplinary care approach will focus on the patient as a whole person, understanding their social and functional needs and their health conditions. Strong emphasis is placed on the patient’s mobility and function to help them maintain their independence and ability to return home.
ACE Team and Roles
The environment provides a collaborative, inter-professional and multi-disciplinary team-based approach to providing care. Nurses and allied health staff in the unit have advanced training in geriatrics. The ACE Unit collaborates with other hospital programs in the Emergency Department, Medicine, Rehabilitation, and Palliative Care. The team also emphasizes family involvement in the care process and a comprehensive approach to working with community partners to ensure a safe transition home and that the appropriate supports are in place.
ACE Model of Care
Building on its reputation of being a leader in geriatric care, the QCH ACE model is built on the foundation of the latest research and best practices. Patient and family-centered care is the focus of the interdisciplinary healthcare team members who will work collaboratively to provide specialized care using geriatric knowledge and principles. ACE patients will usually have at least one other chronic disease in addition to their presenting condition, making them more vulnerable to the hazards of hospitalization. The ACE approach has been shown to reduce and avoid these complications.
Benefits of ACE
ACE patients will better maintain their level of function, have a shorter hospital stay and be better able to return home and stay at home. Discharge planning will begin immediately, promoting a smooth transition home with the required support in place. The specially designed physical environment helps promote early mobilization and family participation, including visiting lounges, a central dining area and other common areas supporting care conferences and patient, family, and staff education. The unit has the ability to provide specialized care for patients requiring a higher level and intensity of care than is typically available on a regular hospital unit but does not require the sophisticated technology of the Intensive Care Unit and yet still benefits from the ACE philosophy and collaborative model.
Photos of the ACE Unit
The Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit is specifically designed to meet the needs of the hospitalized elderly patient to:
- Reduce functional decline.
- Reduce hospital-acquired disability.
- Reduce the preventable need for long-term care (LTC) upon discharge.
The ACE unit environment is elderly-friendly, with many unique features not found in the rest of the hospital:
- Larger hallways in a “racetrack” formation for ease of walking.
- Large accessible washrooms with walk-in showers, specified grab bars, and raised toilet seats.
- Clocks at every bedside.
- Each bed has its own window.
- Large rooms: 26 of the 34-bed unit are private rooms.
- Patient and family dining room, with a lounge area.
As a patient in the ACE Unit, you can expect practices such as:
- Encouragement to get out of bed during each mealtime.
- Normalized routines and activities.
- Enhanced toileting routines to minimize the use of bedpans, catheters, and briefs.
- Enhanced medication review.
- Enhanced mobility routines.
The best care for our frail and vulnerable seniors translates into QCH’s Myers Automotive ACE Unit providing evidenced-based care in an elder-friendly environment, acknowledging, and respecting the older patients’ unique needs while supporting patients and families in an aging community.