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Please, have a seat

Toronto, August 26, 2014

By Leslie Shepherd

Elizabeth Hanna sits near an elevator
Elizabeth Hanna takes a break during her visit to St. Michael’s Hospital at the Cardinal Carter elevators. (Photo by Katie Cooper)

There’s good news for seniors and others who may have difficulty standing for a long time while waiting for elevators in the hospital.

Thanks to a $25,000 donation from the Gift Shop, the hospital has bought 25, two-seat chairs and installed them near many of the Cardinal Carter elevators so patients and visitors can have a comfortable place to sit while waiting.

The chairs were purchased as part of the senior-friendly hospital strategy. They were selected using Code Plus Senior Friendly Design Standards, evidence-based guidelines that take into consideration how well the physical environment is equipped to address the developmental needs of older adults.

“These standards provide excellent ideas about how to enhance all of our inpatient units and public spaces for seniors beyond accessibility,” said Susan Blacker, co-chair of the Senior Friendly Hospital Steering Committee. “Changes like the addition of seating will make a difference for, and enhance the comfort and experience, of all patients and visitors to the hospital.”

The standards help with the selection of furniture and in identifying where rest stations could be placed to help those with mobility challenges. The colour of the upholstery on the new seating contrasts with both the wall and floor colour to ensure that the seats are easy to see. The arms of the chair are a different colour than the upholstery to make them easier to identify. Both sides of the chair have arms to help people lower themselves into the chairs and stand up from them.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.