Geriatrics Unit (5 North Wing)
UCLA Health - Santa Monica Medical Center
1250 16th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Welcome to the 5 North Wing/Geriatrics Unit at UCLA Health - Santa Monica Medical Center. We know how difficult it can be when you or your loved one needs hospital care. Our Geriatrics team strives to make your hospital stay as comfortable as possible and is available to answer your questions, address your concerns and provide assistance throughout your stay.
The Unit, which contains 26 private rooms, specializes in the care of individuals age 65 or older. Our highly skilled team of physicians, nurses, and clinical care partners has special training and expertise in caring for the unique needs of geriatric patients.
We want to make our patients’ hospital stay a satisfying and healing experience. Someone on your care team is always available to address concerns and answer questions.
As an academic medical center, our hospital has many highly trained doctors and medical professionals who will be involved in your care. The attending physician oversees your care and leads the team. Specialty physicians – those who have specific areas of expertise – may also provide care and consultations as needed.
Registered nurses with specialized training in caring for elderly patients work with the team to implement your care plan, administer medications, and monitor and report on your well-being. Nursing assistants and care partners also assist in your care.
Our nurse practitioner works closely with your doctors to manage your care. She may also assist in coordinating your discharge needs.
Other members of your care team include a geriatric clinical social worker who supports patients and families with social and emotional adjustments and a case manager who coordinates insurance- and discharge-related services, which may include referrals for home health care or a skilled nursing facility.
UCLA Health - Santa Monica Medical Center, is one of the few hospitals nationwide with a pharmacist dedicated solely to the needs of geriatric patients. During your stay, the specialty-trained geriatric pharmacist will assess your current prescriptions, manage potential side effects of new medications, and schedule a bedside consultation prior to discharge to ensure that you understand all prescription instructions before leaving the hospital.
A registered dietitian with special training in geriatric nutrition oversees and manages nutrition plans on the Unit, and all patients are monitored to ensure their nutrition intake is appropriate and healthful. In addition, a physician may prescribe a special therapeutic diet for those with certain illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes, or for patients with chewing or swallowing problems.
Physical, occupational and speech therapists provide rehabilitation services you may need during your hospital stay. They also help physicians determine if you will need additional therapy after leaving the hospital.
We strive to communicate effectively with patients, families and caregivers. To help, we ask that you designate a family member or caretaker to serve as your primary contact during your stay. Due to privacy laws, we can only share information about your medical care with that individual, whether in person or by phone.
A DPOA is a legal document that designates one person of your choosing to protect your rights and make healthcare decisions for you in the event that you become unable to do so for yourself. This is meant to ensure that your wishes will be respected. A social worker can meet with you to assist in completing one if you so choose.
Patients who would enjoy extra company are encouraged to request a visit from a Companion Care volunteer. These specially trained volunteers are available to help at mealtimes, play cards, read to or just spend time talking with patients. Please ask you nurse for more information on the program.
Our goal is to provide the best possible hospital experience to patients, their family members and other visitors. Since research has shown that a quiet environment enhances healing, the hospital has implemented daily “Quiet Time” from 10 pm to 5 am. Please join us in providing a quieter environment during those hours by speaking softly in patient areas, turning your cell phone to vibrate mode and lowering the TV volume or use earbuds when watching TV.
Visitors are important and we value your family as partners throughout your hospital stay. Visiting hours are flexible to meet the various schedules of family members and friends. Children 12 and older are permitted to visit, but special arrangements must be made for younger children and babies. Please check with your nurse or the charge nurse on duty for more information.
To minimize the risk of infection to our patients, family members and friends who are sick are asked to postpone visits until their symptoms clear.
One visitor or caregiver may stay overnight in the sleeper chair in your room. We encourage other family members and friends to visit during regular hours. Our Geriatrics Unit also has a family waiting area nearby.
The phone number for your room should be posted. To make a call, dial "8" to get an outside line or "0" for the operator if making a toll call. Visitors must respect other patients' privacy by staying inside your room during visits and limiting their cell phone use to your room or a waiting area.
Wireless-enabled Internet service is available in your room. Please ask your nurse for access-code information or assistance.
If at all possible, we ask that you bring essential personal items, such as glasses (and case), dentures and/or hearing aids to the unit. However, hearing-assistance devices are available for patient use while in the hospital. Please notify your nurse if you need one. For more information, visit Preparing for Your Stay
Maristela Garcia, MD
Valerie Yeo, RN, MSN, GNP-BC, CNS, NRE-BC