What is a Senior Friendly Hospital?

The Regional Geriatric Programs of Ontario have developed and endorse a Senior Friendly Hospital framework to promote an organization-wide approach in service planning and care for seniors.

Senior Friendly Hospital Toolkit

The Toolkit now features enhanced Processes of Care modules for Delirium and Functional Decline.

Senior Friendly Hospital Toolkit

Key Elements of the Senior Friendly Hospital

Organizational Support

There is leadership and support in place to make senior friendly care an organizational priority. Hospital leadership committed to senior friendly care empowers the development of human resources, policies and procedures, care-giving processes, and physical spaces that are sensitive to the needs of frail patients.

  • Care of the Elderly Advisory Committee – Terms of Reference
    Queensway Carleton Hospital, September 2012
  • Senior Friendly Action Plan
    Pembroke Regional Hospital, April 2012
  • Senior Friendly Hospital Sub-Committee Terms of Reference
    Pembroke Regional Hospital, November 2011

Processes of Care

The provision of care in a Senior Friendly Hospital is founded on evidence and best practices that acknowledge the physiology, pathology, and social science of aging and frailty. Care is delivered in a manner that ensures continuity within the health care system and in the community, so that the independence of seniors is preserved.

Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP)

Evaluation of the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP): Preventing Delirium and Functional Decline among Hospitalized Elder Patients
Joanne Chen, PT – Elder Life Specialist, Hospital Elder Life Program, Seniors’ Health Team, The Credit Valley Hospital and Trillium Health Centre
Presented to the Ontario Gerontology Association, 31st Annual Conference, April 26, 2012

Mobilization of Vulnerable Elders in Ontario (MOVE ON)

The objective of the Council of Academic Hospitals in Ontario (CAHO) Mobilization of Vulnerable Elders in Ontario (MOVE ON) Adopting Research to Improve Care (ARTIC) project is to implement and evaluate an evidence-informed strategy to prevent functional decline in older patients admitted to hospital. The project focuses on the coordinated implementation of inter-professional early mobilization and mobility care standards across 14 CAHO hospitals.

Mobilization of Vulnerable Elders in Ontario (MOVE ON) – ARTIC Project Participant Information Package, January 2012

Emotional and Behavioural Environment

The hospital delivers care and service in a manner that is free of ageism and respects the unique needs of patients and their caregivers, thereby maximizing satisfaction and the quality of the hospital experience.

Separate Emergency Center for Older Patients Leads to High Levels of Patient Satisfaction, Detection of Polypharmacy, Increased Volume of Patients, and Low Rate of Return Visits
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Innovations Exchange, April 2012

Ethics in Clinical Care and Research

Care provision and research are conducted in a hospital environment that possesses the resources and capacity to address unique ethical situations as they arise, thereby protecting the autonomy of patients and the interests of the most vulnerable.

Elder Bill of Rights
Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, including the Nurses Improving Care for Hospitalized Elders (NICHE) program and the Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations

Physical Environment

The Senior Friendly hospital’s structures, spaces, equipment, and facilities provide an environment that minimizes the vulnerabilities of frail patients, thereby promoting safety, independence, and functional well-being.

Additional SFH Resources