Geriatric services help elderly patients live independently for as long as possible
Life for many seniors takes place inside four walls. There are an estimated 2 million homebound elderly in the United States, but only about one in five patients who need home visits from doctors now receive them. These are the "frail elderly"—someone typically older than 75, who has multiple medical problems and medications, as well as limitations in daily activities. Getting to the doctor's office presents a difficult challenge.
Help at Home
Fortunately, frail and homebound elderly patients at Saint Luke's have options to get the care they need. Geriatricians like Peter Holt, M.D., make regular visits to homebound seniors and perform all the tests that would be done in the office using portable equipment: diagnostic services, vital signs, lab work, and X-rays.
"Seeing patients at home is far easier on them than forcing them to find a way to my office," said Dr. Holt, who holds the Maxwell G. Berry, M.D., Endowed Chair in Primary Care and Geriatrics at Saint Luke's Hospital. "And I can see firsthand how they're functioning in their own environment."