2006-04-28 / Community

PHC Awarded Geriatric Care Grant

Peninsula Hospital Center has been awarded a comprehensive grant from the NYS Department of Health to enhance the quality of care in the hospital for the Rockaways' growing geriatric and elderly population. George Briss, RN, Vice President of Nursing at PHC, is enthusiastic about the development of a comprehensive geriatric program at the Hospital Center. "We have so many nursing homes on the peninsula and we care for so many geriatric patients at the hospital. Their needs are very complex and this grant will further educate and assist our dedicated staff in caring for these patients."

Denise Ford, R.N. has been brought on board to be the project Coordinator. "The process of aging brings with it so very many issues. Particularly in a hospital setting, elderly people can become confused and experience impaired functional and cognitive skills. For instance, geriatric patients who require complete bed rest in the hospital tend to become weaker and experience a higher risk for falls. Some seniors still living at home with family, even prior to any hospitalization, don't always recognize the symptoms present because of medication and can confuse these symptoms with what they consider the 'normal process of aging'", explains Ford. "This is a wonderful opportunity to work towards improving an elderly person's quality of life and preserving their dignity."

The Hospital Center sought out this grant because of the peninsula's large nursing home population and the great need to focus and collaborate on geriatric care.

For those patients still living at home, family education will play an integral role in discharge planning so that the family will be better prepared to recognize medical issues which need to be addressed by a family physician before they become critical in nature.

The nursing staff at the Hospital Center will receive special training and additional skills to deal with what medical experts describe as a "special geriatric science" including pressure ulcers, functional limitations, cognitive impairments, nutrition, safety issues, depression and other mental health issues.

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