A senior friendly hospital supports and responds to a senior’s physical and cognitive needs, promotes good health (e.g. nutrition and functional activation), maximizes safety, and involves patients – along with families and caregivers – to be full participants in their care. In 2010, the Ontario Senior Friendly Hospital Strategy was launched to help hospitals understand the five key areas or domains (the Senior Friendly Hospital Framework) that impact the care of hospitalized seniors and their caregivers. In 2011 and again in 2015, NSM hospitals completed a self-assessment in relation to the five domains of the framework. Since 2011, NSM hospitals have been working to improve their environments for seniors and their caregivers. With the NSM SGS program in place, leadership for the regional Senior Friendly Hospital Strategy falls under the mandate of the program and is supported by a task force made up of area partners.
This work is linked to the broader provincial initiative. Currently, the Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto is leading the Senior Friendly Hospital (SFH) ACTION (Accelerating Change Together In Ontario) program. This knowledge-to-practice process includes 87 hospitals across Ontario. Two NSM hospitals are currently involved - Georgian Bay General Hospital focusing on the patient experience and Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre focusing on addressing urinary incontinence by reducing the use of catheters.