For the most part, Utahns are a healthy bunch. Average life expectancy in the Beehive State is 79 — the third highest in the nation. But helping people stay healthy and independent as they age requires expertise.
The Senior Clinics at Intermountain Healthcare are much more than a doctor’s office. These clinics specialize in helping people age 65 and older to maintain and improve their quality of life. Clinic staffers do this by paying attention to the needs of the whole individual, not just their medical problems. Senior Clinic employees are also on the alert for common risks, including the three main causes of premature disability and death:
1. Difficulty in managing multiple chronic illnesses
Often seniors find it challenging to manage multiple illnesses. Intermountain Senior Clinics are in a unique position to coordinate care for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, and memory loss.
2. Problems managing medications
Seniors may see several physicians and specialists who prescribe different treatments and medications. Some medications may actually counteract the benefits of other drugs. A Senior Clinic physician can evaluate all of a senior’s medications and address these concerns.
When seniors fall, they are often hurt both psychologically and physically. Twenty-five percent of older adults lose confidence and avoid movement after a fall. That can lead to the development of other conditions, such as pneumonia. Fall prevention is a necessary part of treating seniors. The Senior Clinics assess a patient’s risk of falling at each visit.
In addition to these services, the Senior Clinics also provide:
• Timely appointments
• Acceptance of Medicare and most Medicare Advantage plans
• Longer appointments to allow time for questions and a thorough exam
• A board-certified physician and a nurse practitioner trained in geriatric care
• Help with memory loss
• Diabetic management and instruction
• Laboratory services, including blood and urine tests
• Nutritional counseling for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and weight loss or gain
• Assistance with community resources, memory screenings, advanced care planning, referrals for home healthcare, medical equipment, and more
To learn more, visit www.intermountainseniors.org. Or call one of our clinics directly:
Alta View Hospital Senior Clinic
9720 S. 1300 East, Suite E240
Sandy, UT 84094
Intermountain Senior Clinic
5770 S. 250 East, Suite 210
Murray, UT 84107
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Carol Wilcox, LCSW.
Carol is the manager of the Alta View Hospital Senior Clinic and may be reached at 801-501-2025.