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The ACE Model of Care

The Acute Care for Elders concept was developed in 1990 at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Doctors there observed that acutely ill older patients often experienced a permanent decline in their ability to perform basic activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating. The decline could not be attributed to illness alone because even when their disease (such as pneumonia) was cured, patients did not return to their prior level of activity. They had longer hospital stays and were more likely to be discharged to a long-term care facility.

Physicians came to believe that the hospital environment and processes of care — lack of coordination between disciplines, complications of immobilization, adverse reactions to medications, poor nutrition, the use of restraints, and negative expectations for recovery from family members and medical staff — contributed to the functional decline of their patients.

ACE Model of Care is Built Around Four Core Principles

  1. Care is patient-centered
  2. Care team is interdisciplinary
  3. Planning for discharge is part of care
  4. Hospital environment is elder friendly