Overview of Geriatric Care and Services
The Consortium on Aging, through its faculty and partners in the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Dental Branch, is committed to the provision of comprehensive, coordinated, interdisciplinary, and patient-centered services for elderly patients. Geriatric and palliative care services are offered by geriatricians and nurse practitioners in inpatient and outpatient settings as well as in the patients' homes.
- Why should I refer someone to a geriatric specialist?
- Who should be referred?
- Which program or setting best suits the needs of my patient and how do I make a referral to that program?
Caring for geriatric patients is challenging because of the complexity of chronic illnesses complicated by functional and cognitive impairments. Geriatricians and gerontological nurse practitioners are specially trained to diagnose and treat conditions that are common in elderly adults, including decreasing physical function, fluctuations in mood, sleep and appetite disorders, wounds, urinary tract disorders, and difficulty with memory. Geriatric specialists will help to choose care strategies that consider not only the medical complexities but also polypharmacy, psychosocial issues, and socioeconomic factors.
Patients over the age of 65 may benefit from the services of a geriatric specialist if they are frail or experience any of the following:
- Multiple health conditions or chronic illnesses, especially when they require multiple medications
- Memory impairments
- Behavioral or mood changes, such as depression or anxiety
- Problems with balance or gait and falls
- Inability to perform usual activities of daily living
- Difficulty sleeping
- Unexplained weight loss or appetite disorders
- Deconditioning following hospitalization
Patients may also benefit from geriatric specialty care if you think they may need community services in order to continue living independently or if they have end-of-life questions. Patients younger than 65 may also be referred, as necessary.
Which program or setting best suits the needs of my patient and how do I make a referral to that program?
Geriatric care is provided in the following settings:
ACE (Acute Care for Elders) inpatient units at Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center and at LBJ General Hospital. An ACE unit is managed by an interdisciplinary team that treats the acute issues of older patients requiring hospitalization and also focuses on prevention of risk that accompany hospitalization. The team works to assure a successful discharge that meets the needs of the patient and family. Nasiya Ahmed, MD directs the service at MH-TMC and John Halphen, MD directs the service at LBJ Hospital.
Center for Healthy Aging, 6700 West Loop South, Bellaire, TX 77401. 713-486-5150.Located in the UT Physicians facility in Bellaire, the Center for Healthy Aging is a comprehensive outpatient clinic for geriatric primary and subspecialist care. Patients may be referred for care to physician subspecialists with a focused interest in caring for older patients. Specialty care may be provided by orthopedists, neurologists, dentists, cardiologists, psychiatrists, urologists, and others. Patients with memory problems or dementia may be seen in the Brain Health Clinic by an interdisciplinary team that includes a geriatrician, neurologist, geriatric psychiatrist, neuropsychologist, nurse, and geriatric social worker. The clinic space on the first floor is specially designed and accessible for elderly. Lab and imaging services are located on the same floor of the building.
Silver Seniors Clinic at LBJ Settegast Community Health Center, 9105 N. Wayside Drive in Houston, tel. 713-636-7145.An outpatient clinic for geriatric primary care. Located in the Settegast Community Health Center near LBJ General Hospital in northeast Houston.
Geriatrics Clinic at UT Health Center at Sienna Village, 8810 Highway 6, Suite 100 in Houston, tel. 713-486-1200.An outpatient clinic for geriatric primary care. Located on Highway 6 just west of Fort Bend Parkway.
Silver Seniors Clinic - Baytown, 1602 Garth Road in Baytown, tel. 281-827-2700. An outpatient clinic for geriatric primary care. Located on Garth Road near the interchange of Highways 146/201 and 330.
Palliative Medicine Clinic at LBJ Hospital, 5656 Kelley Street in Houston, tel. 713-526-4243.Services include an interdisciplinary team approach to symptom control and palliative care for outpatients with life-threatening illnesses. The team includes a physician, social worker, chaplain, and nutritionist. Clinic appointments are offered on Wednesdays from 8 am to 1 pm. The clinic is located in the Medicine Clinic area.
Brain Health Clinic, 6700 West Loop South, Bellaire, TX 77401. 713-486-5150.
Located within the Center for Healthy Aging - Bellaire, the Clinic for Brain Health is a comprehensive outpatient clinic specializing in assessing and treating older persons with memory and cognitive disorders. The interdisciplinary team includes geriatricians, neurologists, geriatric psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, geriatric nurse practitioners, geriatric social workers and case managers. Services include a comprehensive assessment, testing and diagnostic studies, team consultation and a summary meeting with the patient and family/caregiver (when indicated), recommendations for treatment, and support services including counseling, resources and education.
House Call Program
The Center for Healthy Aging at Bellaire and LBJ Community Hospital have House Call Programs that provide geriatric assessment to older adults who are unable to go to the clinic. These patients are seen in their homes or in assisted living centers.
To refer a patient, please call the Center for Healthy Aging in Bellaire at 713-486-5150 or the Geriatrics Clinic at LBJ Hospital at 713-526-4243.