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18 January

Legacy Community Health is Now Offering Geriatric Services

Category: Adult Primary Care, Family Medicine

By India Ogazi

Legacy Community Health is now offering geriatric services to better serve its older-adult patients. Patients age 65 or older can now benefit from a physician trained to handle their unique health needs — a geriatrician.

A geriatrician is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and disability in older adults. As the body ages, its health care needs become more complex. Geriatricians address those unique demands, such as the management of multiple chronic conditions and medications.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the U. S. will experience considerable growth in its older population between 2012 and 2050. And an AARP bulletin called geriatrics “… a critical role, becoming increasingly important as America ages.”

“Adding geriatric services allows us to better serve the needs of our aging communities,” says Dr. Patricia Hayes, Legacy’s Director of Family Medicine. “It’s a pressing need and another way for us to drive healthy change in our communities.”

Older adults should consult a geriatrician if they’re experiencing memory problems, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, falls or difficulty walking, constipation, depression or anxiety, unexpected weight loss, bladder control problems, or difficulties with personal care, such as bathing, toileting, feeding or getting dressed.

Legacy geriatricians work together with nurses, social workers, pharmacists, dieticians, and behavioral health providers to treat the whole person — physically, emotionally and socially.

Geriatric services are currently offered at Legacy’s San Jacinto and Fifth Ward (Lyons) clinics, based on a greater need in those communities. Legacy plans to expand geriatric services to additional clinics, later in 2018.