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Towards more elder friendly acute hospitals : study 1 : the physical environment in ACE units : design specifics and staff ratings - final report

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Report submitted to: Fraser Health Geriatric Clinical Service Planning and Delivery Team, January 17, 2006. Three facts about seniors are well known: (1) their numbers and proportion in the population served by the Fraser Health Authority (FHAA), the province and the country are increasing; (2) they constitute a substantial proportion of the inpatient hospital population, it has, in fact, been estimated that in most jurisdictions nationally and internationally, they may constitute the majority in medical and surgical wards other than pediatrics or obstetrics/gynecology; (3) a third fact is that substantial proportions of seniors have accidents in hospitals and/or lose functional status between admission and discharge at a rate above and beyond what is to be expected from their admitting diagnosis. While there may be various contributing factors, the focus of the study described in this report, and the broader project of which it is a part, is on the physical environment. A key question is whether there are aspects of the physical environment of hospitals, and in particular, interior design of patient private and public areas, that can be altered in ways that will improve older patient outcomes.
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