Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) units meet the special needs of older adult patients. ACE units are designed with special attention to the physical environment.
ACE units differ in size and admission rules, but they share common themes of pride in care and focus on making patients better and reducing length of stay. Nurse-to-patient staffing ratios are typically better then in other units.
Studies have shown that patient satisfaction is generally higher in ACE units than on regular hospital floors. The units often make more efficient use of scarce hospital staff, focusing staff efforts on patients who need more care.
Also referred to as a “vail bed,” this is a canopy bed with netting on all four sides. The purpose is to protect patients who are confused or agitated which may put them at risk for wandering, or for injuring themselves or others. There have been some signs that these beds pose risks of suffocation and entrapment.
Because of the suffocation risk, FDA advises hospitals, nursing homes and consumers who have a vail bed to stop using it and move the patient to an alternate bed. Consumers who are using vail beds at home should ask their physicians about other options.
A standard hospital bed has a low height of 24 inches, making it difficult for many patients to get in and out of bed. Low height beds are electric, adjustable beds that can lower to about six inches off the floor. This allows patients to lower the bed enough to ensure their feet touch the floor before attempting to stand, reducing the risk of falls.
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