Specialized Care for Maximum Recovery
The Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit is a specialty unit at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital that is devoted to the care of hospitalized older adults.
Patients in the ACE Unit are cared for by specialists who have training and experience in recognizing and preventing complications that often occur in hospitalized geriatric patients.
The ACE Unit uses evidence-based interventions to provide care that optimizes each patient’s recovery and preserves each person’s dignity.
Preventing Common Complications
Older adults who are hospitalized have unique and sometimes complex needs. They face an increased incidence of overall mortality, as well as complications such as:
- Cognitive decline
- Functional decline
- Pressure ulcers
ACE Units have been developed at medical centers across the country to specifically address these issues and to reduce the stress on older hospitalized patients and their families.
- Research shows that patients who are cared for in an ACE Unit have improved outcomes, including:
- Better functional and cognitive results
- Fewer hospital-acquired complications
- Reduced health care costs
- Shorter hospital stays
Patients in an ACE unit are also less likely to move to a nursing home following their hospitalization.
In addition to treating the current health situation, ACE interventions often include:
- Medication review
- Nutritional counseling
- Planning for care after discharge
- Physical therapy, walking, and other exercise
- Sleep hygiene
The ACE Unit includes experts from a range of disciplines, including:
- Registered nurses
- Patient care technicians
- Social workers
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
The UT Southwestern ACE Unit holds the NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) designation, the only international designation that indicates a hospital's commitment to elder care excellence.