Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM) Units in SALHN

The Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) GEM units provide hospital based specialist geriatric rehabilitation services. This includes comprehensive and responsive assessment and care planning in consultation with the older person, their family, carer and current community services involved in their care, allowing for restoration and rehabilitation in addition to the management of medical conditions.

GEM based care provides an interdisciplinary approach and is based on principles of best practice management of older people.


Services available within GEM units include:

  • Geriatrician assessment and intervention
  • Comprehensive allied health assessment and therapy including:
    • Physiotherapy
    • Occupational therapy
    • Social work
    • Dietetics
    • Speech pathology
    • Pharmacy
    • Psychology
    • Neuropsychology
  • Nursing care

Interdisciplinary assessment within GEM focuses on the following domains:

  • Cognitive status
  • Psycho-social assessment
  • Nutrition (malnutrition and micro-nutrient deficiencies, obesity)
  • Mobility, balance and exercise tolerance
  • Environment, daily activity patterns and function
  • Medication interactions
  • Review of swallowing, vision and dentition as deemed necessary

SALHN has 3 GEM units - Ward 5A at Flinders Medical Centre, Whittaker Ward at Noarlunga Hospital and Myles Ward at Noarlunga Hospital (specialised unit to support patients with delirium and dementia)

Admission criteria

Older people who met the following criteria will be considered for admission to GEM:

  • Aged 65 years or older (45 years or older for ATSI persons)
  • Reside  in the community (low level care residents will be considered)
  • Require a trial of therapy to determine whether potential for recovery exists
  • Require a complex, inter-disciplinary assessment, not available in another unit
  • Have a co-existent physical and/or mental disability that is at least moderate (defined as needing assistance with at least 2 ADL’s or IADL’s)
  • Those who on aged care clinical judgement has a significant likelihood of returning home after treatment or where their disability is potentially reversible or manageable


Referrals can be made to GEM by contacting the GEM Triage Nurse Consultant.

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Contact details

GEM Triage

Further information

SA Health GEM Units and models of care

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