Nana Asomaning, the Patient Care Manager on Mount Sinai’s Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit has dedicated much of her career to caring for older adults.

“Geriatric care is a passion of mine,” she says. “I’ve always had a keen interest in acute and chronic medicine and how people living with illness can optimize their health and quality of life. This is an essential part of care for older adults.”

Making a difference

Nana’s interest in health care started when she was young. Her mother, who was a teacher back home in Ghana, became a PSW in long-term care when she arrived in Canada in 1987.

“I started working in long-term care in high school and had the privilege to see how quality nursing care and PSW support can give people the ability to enjoy life and live well with chronic illness. I saw how my mother and her colleagues gave their all to the long-term care residents and made a difference in their lives,” she says.

At Mount Sinai, a hospital known for excellence in geriatric care, Nana has found an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of countless older adults. She’s done this through providing direct patient care as a geriatric emergency management (GEM) nurse in the emergency department, as an educator and as a consultant using her expertise to support her colleagues across all areas of the hospital.

“What sets Mount Sinai apart in this area is that geriatrics and healthy aging has been a strategic priority for more than a decade,” says Nana. “I’ve had the opportunity to participate in and lead initiatives to develop and implement best practices that meet the unique needs of older adults. We’ve set an example that other organizations have learned from and emulated.”

Teamwork on the ACE Unit

Nana has advocated and advanced quality geriatric care by sitting on committees and designing geriatric care education programs for health care professionals. She says her greatest joy though, is working with her team on the ACE Unit.

The unit specializes in helping patients get back to their baseline of health and everyday functioning after an acute illness. Patients are admitted to the unit from the emergency department or transferred from other inpatient units in the hospital.  

It’s not easy work, but it’s important and the team knows this. “It’s humbling being a part of this brilliant and dedicated team of people who show up every day, despite the challenges of the current health care landscape, committed to providing the best care, helping patients achieve an optimal quality of life and well-being,” says Nana. “This is what geriatric care is all about.”

About Mount Sinai’s Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit

The ACE Unit is a 28-bed inpatient Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital. The team provides care tailored to help older adults regain function and maintain their independence as much as possible. This includes early planning for the transition back home.

The unit is part of Mount Sinai’s ACE strategy, an award winning model of coordinated care that spans the emergency department, inpatient care as well as outpatient and community care settings.

The ACE strategy is making a difference in outcomes for older adults, reducing readmissions to the hospital by 14 per cent, and decreasing falls in the hospital by 66 per cent. Hospitals across Canada and internationally have adopted this model of care.