Seniors' Health

Woman and man having a conversation

You are our neighbour, and we want you to feel as comfortable as possible in our hospital.

Every day we help Durham Region seniors live longer, healthier lives. Our goal is to help you get well and return home –whether home is your house, a retirement residence, or somewhere else.

Finding Your Way

If you are visiting the ER at our Bowmanville, Oshawa or Port Perry hospital, simply enter through the site’s well-marked emergency entrance. The first thing you should do after entering is see the triage nurse.

If you are visiting another area of the hospital, we have friendly volunteers and information desks to help you find your way. At our Oshawa, Bowmanville and Port Perry hospitals you will find an information desk in the main lobby. At our Whitby hospital site, helpful volunteers are available to direct you. We also have signs at all entrances that can help guide you to your destination.

Visiting the ER

Below are some helpful reminders for seniors and their families about visiting the ER. You can read more about the general process of visiting the ER on our emergency page.

Tips for Seniors and their Families

  • We encourage you to bring a support person with you when you visit the ER. Our patients tell us they feel more comfortable when they have a family member or loved one with them.
  • Please wear comfortable footwear that will prevent you from slipping, such as a running shoe or a good, solid walking shoe. You should avoid wearing slippers, socks without shoes, or shoes that have smooth, slippery soles.
  • Bring all of your medications, in their original containers, with you.
  • If possible, you should leave your valuables at home, or send them home with a family member.
  • If you have a specific need or concern, please let us know. For example, if you are feeling chilly while in the ER our team would be happy to lend you a warm blanket.

Geriatric Emergency Management Nurse

When you enter the ER, the triage nurse will ask you about your health symptoms so that he or she can make sure you are seen by the right person. 

In some cases, the triage nurse might refer you to the geriatric emergency management nurse (GEM nurse). The GEM nurse has specialized training in helping frail seniors who have multiple, complex conditions.

Staying Overnight

Staying overnight in hospital is sometimes called “being admitted” or “being an inpatient”. In this case, you will have a room in the area of our hospital that is most suited to the care you need.

Your Whiteboard

In your room, you will have your own whiteboard. On the white board, we will write the name of your nurse and your doctor, your activities for the day, and the plan for your care. This is a great way for you and your family to see information about your care at a glance.

Special Requests

Our health care team will work with you and your family to ensure you have the supports you need. If there is something you need, just ask. As an example, many of our patients request amplifiers (pocket talkers) to help them hear better.

Questions or Concerns

We are always here to answer your questions or address your concerns. If you don’t understand something, please ask a member of your care team. If there is something that is bothering you, please ask to speak with the patient care manager or specialist for your unit. The manager or specialist is your advocate to make sure you get the best care possible.

Your Support Person

Most of the time, we work directly with our patients. If you have a support person who you would like us to work with instead, please let us know.

Community Partners

We work in partnership with other health care organizations to provide you with good quality care. For example, we work with the Community Care Access Centre to help you return home with the in-home support of nurses, social workers and other health care professionals.

Planning for the Future

We work tirelessly to meet the day-to-day healthcare needs of each senior who comes through our doors. And at the same time, we’re also looking ahead to the future needs of seniors in our community.

The number of seniors in Durham Region will grow by 60% over the next 10 years. Knowing this, we are working on a seniors’ strategy that will help us meet the needs of local seniors in the years to come.

We’re also finding more and more ways to make our hospitals friendlier and safer for seniors. For example, we’re improving our lighting, using non-slip flooring material and making our signage easier to read.