About Senior Friendly Hospitals

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The Ontario Senior Friendly Hospital framework provides an evidence based blueprint to guide hospital-wide improvements in services for frail seniors. The framework comprises five inter-linked components that are listed below. Better outcomes for frail seniors emerge when these component are considered together. 

In a Senior Friendly Hospital, leadership is committed to deliver an optimal experience for frail seniors as an organizational priority. This commitment empowers the development of human resources, policies and procedures, caregiving processes, and physical spaces that are sensitive to the needs of frail patients.

In a Senior Friendly Hospital, care is designed from evidence and best practices that are mindful of the physiology, pathology and social science of aging and frailty. Care and service across the organization are delivered in a way that is integrated with the health care system and support transitions to the community.

In a Senior Friendly Hospital, care and service are provided in a way that is free of ageism and respects the unique needs of patients and their caregivers. This maximizes quality and satisfaction with the hospital experience.

In a Senior Friendly Hospital, care is provided and research is designed in a way that protects the autonomy, choice, and diversity of the most vulnerable of patients.

In a Senior Friendly Hospital, the structures, spaces, equipment, and furnishings provide an environment that minimizes the vulnerabilities of frail patients, promoting safety, comfort, independence, and functional well-being.

 

Why it Matters

When seniors are hospitalized they become vulnerable to unexpected challenges including hospital acquired delirium and functional decline that complicate their ability to return to their place of residence.  Seniors presently account for 60 percent of hospital days across the province and we know that the number of seniors in Ontario will double over the next two decades. To build better health outcomes for frail seniors who require hospital care and to optimize the availability of scarce hospital resources systematic improvements in care are essential.  Building better health outcomes for frail seniors is what we all want to achieve, the senior friendly hospital frameworks serves as a blueprint to guide these essential improvements.