Westside Court to Accommodate Special Patient Needs

03/25/2009

EMMC strives every day to meet the individual and special needs of our patients. This month marks the opening of a new unit, Westside Court, which is specifically designed to accommodate the special needs of patients we are treating who also have conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia. These patients may need an environment that better suits their sensitivities to commotion, unfamiliarity, and interrupted routine.  

Westside Court is a six-bed unit that looks very different from any other unit at EMMC. Kim Demers, RN, CNRN, Neuro/Ortho/Med G5 department head nurse, emphasizes that great care was taken in planning the design of the unit, “We spoke to many experts in the field to create the most appropriate environment for these patients.” Special flooring is used to eliminate shine and there is no border around the outside of the floor, ensuring patients won’t receive signals that the floor is wet or that they must stop walking at the border. The walls are painted yellow – a color shown to stimulating appetite and alertness in patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and none of the fabric on the furniture has any texture or designs, which can distract patients.

Planning has also taken place to ensure patients remain engaged on both a physical and mental level. Westside Court has a special area for patients to eat their meals and to socialize with one another, and another area to watch television. Occupational, physical, and speech therapy will be provided on the unit so the patients won’t have to leave the special environment that has been created for them.

“Westside Court will allow us to do more for our older patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia,” summarizes Allan Currie, MD, chief of Medical Services. “We think Westside Court will be a benefit to both our patients and the staff.” To track the benefits of this type of unit, EMMC’s Clinical Research Center will be working closely with Westside Court to collect data about patient outcomes and staff experiences.

EMMC, a member of EMHS, brings the latest innovations and best practice standards in quality to our patients and our community. From groundbreaking clinical research to the latest robotic surgery techniques, we are committed to be the best and offer the best.