Acute care of the elderly patient is a specialty area of practice. The elderly have a spectrum of needs including physiologic, psychosocial, functional, and financial needs that will alter their response to physiologic illness and the acute care experience in general. Acute care units specifically designed to meet the needs of elderly adults can have a dramatic impact on recovery from acute illness and long-term, postdischarge outcomes. This report describes the experience of one elderly patient hospitalized for the treatment of pneumonia. This elderly patient manifested a response to the acute care experience that was typical of his age cohort, including confusion and incontinence. Subsequent transfer to an acute care for the elderly unit maximized this patient’s recovery and postdischarge placement.

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