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Annales de Gérontologie

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Functioning of mobile geriatric units or a professional interdisciplinary pattern: experience of Grenoble University Hospital (France) Volume 1, issue 1, Octobre-Novembre-Décembre 2008

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Mobile Unit of Gerontology, University Clinic of Geriatric Medicine, CHU Grenoble, 38043 Grenoble Cedex 09

Mobile geriatric units present an integral part of hospital geriatric network. Their roles and missions have been specified in circulars on geriatric networks and in the setting of emergencies activities. They make use of common system of references such as the multidimensional geriatric assessment or the multidisciplinary exercise in fragility detection, identification and management of issues. Their action is preferentially centered on the elderly frail patient with acute or functional instability, whether in emergency unit or in medical and surgical specialties. Home interventions may be considered in cases of medico-social crises management, and especially in order to avoid non-programmed hospitalizations. Three types of interventions may be proposed: the assessment inside emergency units and the orientation from these units, the standardized geriatric assessment in specialty departments and medico-social assessment in the setting of coordination activities – link between inpatient and outpatient settings. In order to be efficient, the functioning of mobile teams should benefit of the specificity and competences of its professionals, a common culture and a synergetic action. This one is revealed, in particular, through the process of standardized geriatric assessment. The respective role of different actors (secretary, physicians, assessment nurse and social worker) takes place in a coordinated approach. Required job profiles should be determined according to needs and prior objectives of both team and department.