Adapting hospitals for our seniors
CHUV aims to turn itself into a more elderly-friendly hospital by 2023. Measures are planned to adapt the pace and type of care.
The ageing population is an issue affecting the entire society (Super-longevity: the challenges of the fourth age, In Vivo, 2018). Today, people over 65 make up more than half of hospital stays at CHUV. By 2040, the proportion of people over 80 will have doubled in the Canton of Vaud. Hospitals are the first having to adapt to the specific needs of these patients.
That is what the Senior Friendly Hospital project, initiated by CHUV’s Healthcare division and Geriatrics and Geriatric Rehabilitation Service, aims to do by 2023. "Hospitals structured to treat acute and short-term illnesses are no longer suitable, and care must be focused on seniors," says Cédric Mabire, who holds a PhD in nursing science from the University of Lausanne (UNIL). "That has significant consequences," says Isabelle Lehn, CHUV healthcare director.
"The impact on the lives of elderly patients should factor more heavily in medical decisions, bed rest should be reduced as much as possible to prevent muscle loss, and seniors who manage their medication by themselves at home should continue to do so in hospital."
The idea is to take all steps to help them maintain or regain the independence they had before their health problem, from admission to emergency care, until the end of their hospital stay.
Source: In Vivo special edition (2019) / Photo: © SAM-CHUV
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