Senior Friendly Care

Improving the health and well-being of seniors in hospital

Seniors are three times more likely to be hospitalized than younger people and receive care in nearly every area of the hospital. A hospital stay can have a major influence on the health and wellbeing of seniors.

However, evidence shows that seniors’ health declines the longer they stay in hospital as a result of complications, lack of activity and infections. This can lead to longer hospital stays and reduced chances of returning home and regaining their health and independence.

Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks are leading a Senior Friendly Hospital Strategy – an initiative to improve seniors’ health and prevent their physical and mental decline in hospital. By acting together, hospitals can improve the experience and outcomes of older adults in Ontario hospitals.

The Senior Friendly Hospital Strategy aims to:

  • Improve the health, well-being and experience of seniors in Ontario hospitals, helping them get back home sooner and healthier
  • Improve seniors’ ability to live independently and stay out of hospital
  • Enhance the value of health care dollars
  • Help reduce alternate level of care by supporting people to transition to the right place of care after a hospital stay
  • Promote quality improvement initiatives that can be included in hospital Quality Improvement Plans as part of Excellent Care for All

All adult hospitals in Ontario have completed a Senior Friendly Hospital Assessment. Summary reports for each LHIN and a summary provincial report were developed in collaboration with the Regional Geriatric Programs of Ontario.

For a copy of the Central LHIN and provincial summary reports as well as an FAQ on the Strategy, please click on the links below:

What’s next?

The LHINs will be working together to address the system-level recommendations contained in the summary reports and will be looking to hospitals to help in the planning of local, regional and provincial actions to move this strategy forward. LHINs will first focus their efforts on developing a coordinated provincial approach to creating positive change across the three clinical priority areas that were identified in the provincial report: functional decline, delirium and transitions in care.

In the future, all Ontario hospitals will have senior friendly action plans in place and will start to measure their performance with commonly agreed upon indicators.