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January 28, 1994 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-01-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

HealthNews

Growing Old: still

Growing

Geriatrician Sarah Gelberd, M.D., right, guides patients and their families through the Sinai Senior Assessment
and Clinic (SSAC).

A

n elderly woman
begins to show
signs of weak-
ness and a slow-
ing of mental
function. She and her fam-
ily assume these are just
part of aging and they ig-
nore the progressive prob-
lems.
Hold on a minute! ad-
vises Harold Rodner,

M.D., Section Chief of In-
ternal Medicine at Sinai
with a special interest in
geriatrics. A thorough
exam and history may re-
veal a low-active thyroid
— an eminently treatable
disorder. Instead of per-
manent loss of many key
functions, the woman can
preserve a high quality of
life.

It is this special atten-
tion to the unique needs of
the elderly that distin-
guishes Sinai's Internal
Medicine Department. In
any hospital, some 60 per-
cent of the patients are
older adults. At Sinai, a
dozen doctors have passed
specialized exams for
treatment of this group.
And, as a group, the el-

derly are different. Their
losses and grieving, and
even their boredom, can
contribute to clinical de-
pression, which in turn
can affect their mental
function, physical well-be-
ing and social interactions.
Their multitude of med-
ications can cause more
problems than they solve.
And their caregivers — of-
ten a spouse or offspring
— may need relief and in-
formation.
Sinai addresses these
and many more special
needs through a formal
testing and evaluation
program called Sinai Se-
nior Assessment and Clin-
ic (SSAC). Headed by one
of the first formally
trained geriatricians in
the United States, Med-
ical Director Sarah S. Gel-
berd, M.D., the SSAC
approaches the unique
medical and social needs
of older adults with digni-
ty and compassion.
"One of my goals is ag-
ing in place," says Dr. Gel-
berd. "No one grows up
wanting to be in a nursing
home." In order for the ag-
ing individual to remain
at home, she and the
SSAC help the family
learn about and access the
variety of resources in the
metropolitan community.
A house call may be made
by an occupational thera-
pist to determine the safe-
ty of the environment. An
instruction in exercise, so-
cial activity, sleep, nutri-
tion and sexuality are all
built into the quality of life
education.

• CI ' L A DVERTI SE ME

Where Is Sinai?

For mor
information
support groups
clinics and
programs,call Sinai
Hospital at
1-800-248-3627

‘nrgiMMTRMST;Mr7rM:MIMM.Mnrmi75,.('

inai Hospital is centrally
Lilocated in metropolitan
Detroit on West Outer Drive
just north of West McNichols/
Six Mile Road and two blocks
east of Greenfield.. The main
entrance is on West Outer
Drive, and valet parking is
available.

"We sometimes have to
teach the caregivers to do
less," Dr. Gelberd says.
"Their parents get ab-
solutely bored and feel
useless. Encouraging the
caregiver to assign chores,
such as setting the table
or folding laundry, pro-
motes usefulness for the
parent and reduces burn-
out for the caregiver."
"If there is a patient
with problems, there is a
caregiver with problems,"
observes Dr. Rodner. "You
have to deal with the
whole person and his or
her whole life." This
means determining such
everyday details as who is
shopping for the patient,
paying the bills and cook-
ing.
At SSAC on the Detroit
campus or at Sinai's
Hechtman Health Center
in Bingham Farms, a
meticulous history-taking
is supplemented by so-
phisticated physical, so-
cial and psychological
exams. When the patient
— the whole patient — is
truly known to the team,
assisted by geriatric
nurse, Barbara Hollie,
R.N., recommendations
are made to the patient,
the family and the prima-
ry care physician.
"The key word is func-
tion," Dr. Rodner stresses.
"The role of the geriatri-
cian is to assess, prevent
loss of and try to recover
function."

WEST BLOOMFIELD

: W

a

'common dis
eases suffered by
post-menopausal
women is osteo-
porosis, or thin-
ning of the bones.
It often results
"dowager's
hump" and the
potentially fatal
breaking of a hi
New research
shows that
women who no-
tice a height los
of two inches or
more should co
skier themselve
at risk for hip
fractures, and ar
advised to info
their physici
Sinai's team o
medical
cialists
knowledgeab
compassiona

_



\ Maple Road

BIRMINGHAM

ROYAL OAK

OAK PARK

FARMINGTON

FERNDALE

Eight Mile

HIGHLAND
PARK

LIVONIA

0 DETROIT

DEARBORN

!

n ne of the most

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