Age Friendly Hospital initiative
Montreal, June 20, 2011 – The Minister responsible for Seniors, Marguerite Blais, and the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Yves Bolduc, announced an award of $300,000 at a press conference at the Montreal General Hospital of the MUHC. To be dispersed over three years in support of the Age-Friendly hospital initiative, the grant is aimed at improving the care of seniors. The funding will be used to create the MUHC Age-Friendly Development Office, which will promote and encourage strategies to improve the care of seniors in our hospitals. The project is funded under the program Soutien aux initiatives visant le respect des aînés 2010-2011.
“It goes without saying that an academic health centre with services covering a person’s entire life span needs to have an age-friendly approach, particularly when it wants to do more than pay lip service to patient centricity,” states the Hon. Arthur T. Porter, Director General and CEO of the MUHC. “While we have compassionate caregivers and established leading practices, our vision for the future calls for much more. We therefore welcome the government of Quebec‘s grant.”
Fifty-five percent (55%) of acute care beds at MUHC adult sites are occupied by patients over 65 years of age. In addition, the 85 years and over demographic is the fastest growing age group. “Navigating health care causes stress on elderly patients, resulting in declines in functional capacity and cognitive awareness. This funding will help us develop a model of care that is more favourable for this vulnerable patient group, and that can be extended across the institution as well as ultimately to our health network partners across the province and beyond,” says Dr. Nadine Larente, Associate Director of the Division of Geriatrics at the MUHC. “We are very grateful to the Government for this award.”
“This project will identify strategies that will significantly improve the care of elderly patients who are often more vulnerable and isolated. The aim is to introduce new practices to Quebec hospitals by implementing a physical environment, an institutional climate and a more favourable model of care for seniors,” said Minister Blais in a government press release issued today. “With the ageing population, support for organizations that can assist the elderly is more important than ever. Our Government is proud to promote solidarity and respect for elders of all conditions to make Quebec a society for all ages.”
The grant will be used to create MUHC Age-Friendly Development Office. The office will consist of a clinician manager, a medical director and a secretary, that will work in collaboration with an interdisciplinary committee to develop programs to improve care for the frail elderly, hospitalized at the MUHC. The priority is to develop modalities that will prevent delirium and functional decline in the frail elderly that are hospitalized in acute care in MUHC facilities. The tasks of the office will also include: facilities planning to ensure that the MUHC’s facilities meet elderly-friendly guidelines for the maintenance of autonomy; sensitizing all levels of the organization to the importance of adapting to the needs of the frail elderly; and fostering the creation of projects that are consistent with an elderly-friendly approach.
“This program is one of numerous initiatives established at the MUHC over the past few years to improve care of the elderly,” says Dr. Jose Morais, Director of the Division of Geriatrics at the MUHC. “Our falls prevention and pain assessment programs are already producing very good results and in the hands of Dr. Larente and her team I believe this initiative will yield many more leading practices that will benefit seniors across Quebec.”