BETTER CARE FOR SENIORS

BedsideShiftReport

“It’s not just about doing things differently, it’s about doing things better. By putting improved measures in place, we are helping our patients regain their independence to return home, which is the ultimate goal.”

– Kari Simpson-Adams, Chief Nursing Director, OSMH

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A healthy seniors population builds healthy communities. The care that seniors receive in hospitals, and the hospital experience itself, are among the key factors in the health and well-being of the elderly. When compared to the rest of Ontario, the North Simcoe Muskoka (NSM) LHIN has a significantly higher proportion of seniors in its population. In 2008, the proportion of older adults above 65 in Ontario was 16.8%, while the proportion of this age group in NSM was 19.6%. It is estimated that in only ten years’ time, one in four area residents will be above the age of 65.

As you can see the need is great. Seniors are three times more likely to be hospitalized than younger people. Last year alone, 3 of every 5 inpatient beds at the Hospital were used by the elderly. Given that seniors receive care in virtually every area of the hospital, it is critical that OSMH has new equipment and programs to respond to the needs of this growing and diverse population. We know we need to act today to prevent the decline of health seniors often experience when they are hospitalized.

We recently opened a new Integrated Medical and Rehab Services (IMRS) Unit on the fourth floor of the hospital. The new unit will focus on comprehensive care, which we call “wrap-around care”. What that means is that a team of healthcare professionals from different areas of the hospital will work closely with community partners to help patients maintain their independence. Patients admitted to the new unit will be able to receive acute medical care, rehab care and palliation without having to change rooms or care teams.

Sadly, the government doesn’t provide funding for equipment, so we are relying on the generosity of donors like you to help ensure the best possible care for our senior patients. We need to raise funds to maintain the space and purchase specialized equipment such as respiratory machines, patient beds, new mattresses, wheelchairs, slings and more.