Health Care of the Elderly

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Our Areas:

Caring for elderly people is one of the greatest challenges in hospital medicine but also holds some of the greatest rewards when done well. The Elderly are a heterogeneous group and although they may present with similar conditions such as falls, confusion and functional decline, they all have very different backgrounds, home circumstances and pathology. Understanding and managing these problems is an art not a science and considering how the lives of these very frail and complex patients can be improved, is the role of the Care of the Elderly team.

It is important that older people are offered the same level of care and treatment as any other age group - decisions on treatment and care are made according to a patient's clinical condition, not on the basis of age alone. We’re proud to look after people who have multiple interacting illnesses, problems with memory, walking, bowel and bladder function. We recognise that small upsets and illnesses can have a profound effect on people who are vulnerable to deterioration. We specialise in the needs of frail people who require individualised care of, sometimes multiple, complex conditions.

The team covers four wards: Hartor (level 9 - male); Hembury (level 9 - female); Monkswell (level 10 - mixed); and Shipley (level 11 - female).

Why work for us?

The Healthcare of the Elderly department has a multi-disciplinary team approach to the care of older people - ensuring that there is:

  • An individualised approach to care and management
  • Respect for, and maintenance, of an older person's dignity at all times
  • Promotion of choice, involvement and independence of older people and their carers
  • Good communication within the team: the patient, carers, ward staff and onward care providers.

Our wards have established strong teams of nurses, doctors and therapists who all work towards the recovery and rehabilitation of older patients. They use specialist skills, assessments and treatment/care plans to ensure that the older patient is actively treated, supported in their recovery and appropriate plans are in place for their discharge. Each ward has a day room and patients are encouraged, when possible, to enjoy group meals. The involvement of patients’ families and loved ones is important in a patient’s journey through our service.

We link to the consultants in old age psychiatry who provide specialist mental health assessments and inpatient treatment when it is occasionally required.

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