14 January 2018

Renovated ward catering to high-needs elderly patients opened at Canberra Hospital

| Glynis Quinlan
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ACT Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris speaking with one of the patients in the refurbished ward. Photo: Supplied.

A newly renovated 26-bed ward which includes a high observation unit has been opened in Canberra Hospital to cater specifically to the needs of elderly patients requiring specialised care.

Elderly patients recently moved into the Acute Care for the Elderly Unit (Ward 11A) which took just over a year to refurbish at a cost of around $4 million.

The ward aims to provide individual care for patients such as those living with dementia, suffering cognitive impairments or exhibiting challenging behaviours. It endeavours to provide an environment which is safe and secure and promotes independence.

ACT Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris visited the refurbished ward late last week to meet with patients and clinical staff.

Ms Fitzharris said the newly refurbished ward had been specifically designed to make it easier to care for elderly patients and ensure they can move around the ward easily and safely as they recover.

“It has 26 bed spaces, which allows for flexible placement of beds, new bathrooms that use light and colour to assist patients with cognitive impairments, and a new seven-bed high observation unit,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“The ward will also soon have a refurbished courtyard to enable purposeful walking, to help patients get their mobility back.

“Furnishings and fittings chosen for the unit, including the use of contrasting colours and special signage, support the independence of patients who are vision-impaired or living with dementia,” she said.

Ms Fitzharris said that the new design also enables functional separation of patients with challenging behaviours and delirium.

“This will assist with monitoring and observation and improve nurse-patient interaction while ensuring staff and patients are safe.

“I’m really pleased that this ward is now open, as some of our most vulnerable members of the community are cared for in this unit.

“The renovations will significantly enhance the level of care, and the environment within which we care for these patients.”

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