Aging With Ease

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How Seniors Benefit from Geriatric-Focused Care

Aging is inevitable, but living a healthy and productive life as a senior is possible with the right planning and care. Seeking medical professionals who specialize in geriatric care will help seniors through the aging process and put their minds at ease.

“As we age we have a lot of unique issues related to aging, so it’s important that you have someone who is familiar with specific needs of seniors in the geriatric population,” said Brenda Dixon, marketing director at The Summit.

As you age, you might find a doctor who specializes in geriatric medicine to be more helpful. Geriatric medicine focuses on medical issues and diseases caused by aging. Geriatricians must be certified by two separate medical boards—certified in either internal or family medicine—and they must also work primarily with patients 60 years of age or older to become board certified in geriatrics. Doctors who work specifically with seniors are knowledgeable about the aging process and keep up-to-date with how aging can influence medical conditions and medication interactions.

“As seniors do get older, they seem to have more health issues,” said Melissa Hames, who works for Centra Home Health and is a home health liaison to The Summit. She explained that transitioning to a doctor that specializes in geriatric health is important because they are more aware of the common health issues pertaining to seniors, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s, kidney disease, and depression.

“When [seniors]have multiple chronic illnesses and disability, or some complicated medical problems, that would be a good time to seek out a geriatric physician,” Hames said.

Dixon explained that a geriatric physician is more knowledgeable about interactions between common illnesses and better understands how they factor into other medical conditions.

“Being able to navigate through those issues is going to be very important,” Dixon said.

Aside from seeking out a geriatric physician, it’s also important to stay a step ahead when planning your future. If you or a caregiver cannot meet your needs, you need to have options in place rather than waiting until the last minute when options become more limited. Finding the right facility is key.

“If people can start looking ahead of time, so that they are not in a predicament where they do not have as much choice, then you can wait for the place that meets your needs, and the place you are looking for,” Hames said.

Many times seniors are reluctant to receive help, but Hames explained that there are a lot of options, including home health care, which is covered 100 percent by Medicare.

Places like The Summit offer a comfortable lifestyle for seniors. They have a variety of living options, such as apartment homes and lakeside garden homes. Community amenities include restaurant-style dining, a private dining room, library, spa, lounges and living rooms, creative arts room, multipurpose activity room, billiard room, fitness center, business center, a wellness clinic, and chapel. Outside, they have an eight-acre lake, a gazebo, boat house, garden house, raised garden beds, and walking trails.

The Summit provides seniors with an opportunity to live independently, with the assurance that help is there when needed.

Learn more at summitlynchburg.com.

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About Author

Megan L. Horst graduated from Liberty University with a B.S. in Communications, specializing in print journalism, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Theological Studies. Megan is currently a freelance writer, managing editor of the Magnum Opus Magazine, and director/founder of Ecclesia School of the Arts (EcclesiaArts.com).

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