Health News Articles

Acute Care of the Elderly Unit: State-of-the-art Care and Comfort for Seniors

Jun 1, 2013
Feeling tired and worn down because of a low blood count, Lawrence Township resident Terrance Burns (pictured right) was scheduled for a transfusion at University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP).

Originally, he expected to undergo the procedure as an outpatient, but when he arrived the decision was made to monitor him overnight and do the transfusion in the morning.

Normally, an overnight hospital stay would feel like a bit of an inconvenience, Burns, 70, admits, but he was pleasantly surprised when he settled into the Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE) Unit.

“The first thing that struck me was how easy it was to register,” says Burns. “I went right up to the floor and registered there, easy as could be. Everyone on staff was friendly, helpful and really caring while I was there. The fact that the rooms were private, single rooms made it really comfortable too. Actually, one of my daughters came in and commented the place was better than a nice hotel.”

The 24-bed ACE Unit, one of the first in the state and designed specifically to meet the complex needs of older adults, is staffed by a board certified geriatrician and nurses specially trained to care for patients age 65 and older. The unit’s private rooms are carefully designed with seniors in mind, with low-set beds to help prevent falls, mattresses that reduce pressure points and provide extra comfort, built- in bed scales for in-place weighing, a color scheme that enhances depth perception, geriatric-friendly bedside recliners, and a sleeper sofa to encourage loved ones to stay overnight. For patients requiring physicial or occupational rehabilitiation, therapy is provided in the room, offering greater privacy and eliminating the stress and confusion some patients may experience when they are transported to a different area of a hospital for therapy.

“ACE Unit patients are often admitted through our new Senior Emergency Unit, which has six private rooms that are also designed with special safety features for older patients, including slip- resistant floors,” says David R. Barile, MD, (pictured left), board certified in internal medicine, geriatric medicine, hospice and palliative medicine. “Our goal when it comes to older patients is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for them to receive quality care.”

For more information on the Acute Care of the Elderly Unit, call 1.888.PHCS4YOU (742.7496).