Acute Care of the

Elderly (ACE) Unit

Acute Care of the Elderly. We’re ACEs.

Princeton Medical Center offers a 24-bed Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE) unit specifically designed to meet the complex needs of the older adult population.

The ACE unit’s goal is to help elderly patients recover from their illness or injury, to help them maintain their strength and mobility and to avoid additional health problems during their hospital stay. Older adults who are admitted to a hospital have a much higher risk of hospital-related health issues, such as falls, pressure ulcers, incontinence, delirium and malnutrition. Studies have shown that ACE units reduce these risks, shorten the average length of a hospital stay, better preserve a patient’s ability to function normally and increase patient and staff satisfaction. 

The ACE Unit is recommended for:

  • Adults over the age of 65.
  • Acutely ill patients.
  • Patients who have experienced a fall.
  • Patients who have had multiple hospital admissions over the past six months.
  • Seniors who are frail upon admission.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

Our ACE unit is led by a board certified geriatrician, and the nurses on the unit have undergone their profession’s most prestigious geriatric training program, Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE). Together they take an interdisciplinary approach to care, making rounds with pharmacists, nutritionists, therapists and social workers who each have expertise in caring for seniors. Additional consultative services from occupational therapists, wound therapists and speech-language and swallow pathologists are available when medically necessary.

The NICHE program aims to provide exemplary care to all older adults in healthcare settings. As a member of NICHE, PMC is one of a select number of hospitals that participate in this program. For more information on the NICHE program, visit nicheprogram.org.

Family friendly and Patient friendly.

The ACE unit has 24 single rooms designed for the particular needs of the elderly patient. Special beds are set low to prevent falls and the rooms are equipped with bedside recliners for geriatric patients. Wall surfaces and door frames are highlighted with contrasting colors for enhanced depth perception, and signs and display boards have larger-than-normal type.

To promote faster healing, we provide occupational and physical rehabilitation right in the room. We also offer weekly programs that include art and recreational activities, pet therapy and musical activities, including a strolling harpist.

We believe in a family-centered approach to healing, offering a sleeper sofa in each room to encourage loved ones to stay overnight. The Family Respite Area offers an inviting, open atmosphere for social activities and group dining.

We Are with You All the Way

Our primary goal is to help our elderly patients get back to their way of life as soon as possible, preferably in their home setting. But we understand that additional care may be required, so when necessary, we provide a case manager to help patients navigate the next phase of their care, from outpatient rehabilitation to home healthcare services.