LONG BRANCH – Results from the most recent census shows more than 12 million Americans are between the ages of 75 and 94. With an estimated 77 million baby boomers in the midst of turning 65, and fully reaching that age by 2030, the need for geriatric care continues to grow.
Monmouth Medical Center, a Barnabas Health Facility, recently held a geriatric continuing education program for medical professionals on meeting the complex challenges of caring for the elderly. Topics covered during the program included: transitions in care for the frail elderly; the three most prevalent diagnoses in the elderly – delirium, dementia and depression; the geriatric patient assessment; differences in geriatrics from a pharmacology standpoint; and palliative care in the frail and elderly.
Attendees of the workshop heard from a panel of experts, including Joan Wills, R.N., M.P.A, transitions in care coordinator; Dr. Priya Angi, a geriatrician; Angela Soldivieri, a nurse practitioner in geriatrics; Michelle Schork, Pharm.D., geriatrics; and Dr. Jessica Israel, section chief geriatrics, pain and palliative care.
Monmouth Medical Center recently introduced a dedicated geriatric emergency medicine (GEM) unit to better meet the complex needs of these patients. Older patients typically have more complex medical conditions, stay longer in emergency departments for more extensive testing and treatment regimens and are more likely to be admitted and to require critical care.
Vulnerable patients, age 65 years and older, with dementia and other chronic conditions can benefit from a new and innovative Transitions Program at Monmouth Medical Center. Funded through a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, the Barnabas Health Transitions Program for the Comprehensive Care of the Frail Elderly with Dementia screens eligible patients to implement the core components of the program, which include patient and caregiver education, prescription reconciliation and education, development of a detailed, patient-specific My Care Plan, and follow-up care and home visits.
Additional information on the GEM Unit, Transitions Program and other geriatric services are available by visiting the Monmouth Medical Center website at www.barnabashealth.org/hospitals/monmouth_medical/services/geriatric_emergency_specialneeds.html.