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Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit
To address the unique needs of elderly patients, Unity Hospital opened its Acute Care for the Elderly - or ACE - Unit in December 2012.
The Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit is the first of its kind within Allina Health and the second designated ACE Unit in Minnesota.
Best care practices for seniors: The ACE Unit uses research-tested geriatric best practices to help address common concerns of older patients.
Dedicated staff: Our ACE Unit is staffed by an interdisciplinary team of geriatric experts with specialized training, experience and interest in caring for older adults.
Customized care: Each patient’s care plan on the ACE Unit is focused on preventing and improving geriatric medical concerns with a goal of maintaining, and whenever possible, restoring functional abilities.
Adapted environment: The hospital environment on the ACE Unit has been adapted for older, and sometimes frail, adults including flooring designed to decrease glare and noise, enhanced lighting, and a common living room area for eating, socialization and therapeutic recreation.
Safety and comfort for seniors: Handrails, furniture, signs and lighting have all been customized to address the safety, comfort and care of older adult patients.
Patients on the ACE Unit are cared for by an interdisciplinary team of experts including social workers, case managers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, registered nurses with geriatric education and experience, nursing assistants, geriatricians, hospitalist physician and a geriatric clinical nurse specialist.
We serve our older hospitalized patients with a focus on maintaining, and whenever possible, restoring or improving functional abilities and outcomes through an interdisciplinary team approach in partnership with the patient and family.
How is Unity Hospital’s ACE Unit different from other medical units?
The ACE Unit offers patients and family members:
How is a patient admitted to the ACE Unit?
A physician or other health care provider must admit the patient to the ACE Unit.
The ACE Unit has been designed to offer care for patients 70 years or older with an acute medical diagnosis such as anemia, urinary tract infection, dehydration, pneumonia, abdominal pain, weakness, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and more.
Are there certain conditions in which an older patient would not be admitted to the ACE Unit?
Yes. Patients less than 70 years of age, those in a long-term care facility, or patients in hospice care will not be admitted to the ACE Unit. The ACE Unit is especially designed for patients with an acute medical diagnosis, and those needing specialized inpatient surgical, psychiatric, intensive care, and cardiac or oncology care will be admitted to a different unit at the hospital.
ACE Unit patients must meet certain criteria for admissions and be referred by their physician or health care provider.