As we age, the likelihood of developing multiple ongoing conditions increases. These problems can include high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure, to name a few. On Tuesday, August 2nd many joined Anthony Nguyen, MD, Emory Healthcare Regional Medical Officer for the Emory Coordinated Care Centers, part of the Emory Healthcare Network Advantage program, to learn more about care coordination for aging adults, health management and how caregivers – and patients themselves- can best communicate with their doctors.
Thanks to such a great turnout, we were able to answer quite a few questions that were submitted both prior to and during the chat. Below are some highlights from the live chat. View the full chat transcript here.
Question: Are there doctors in the metro area who offer comprehensive care for older adults?
Dr. Nguyen: All patients should have a primary care physician to help manage one’s overall care. A general internist or family practice physician may see a wide array of patients, including older adults. However, a geriatrician specializes in older adults who have multiple ongoing medical conditions and medications. Emory Healthcare has numerous geriatricians and primary care physicians in its network. It also has developed a new care model to assist its providers in delivering comprehensive care for older adults.
Visit emoryhealthcare.org/ccc to learn more about the Emory Coordinated Care Centers and the specific services available for aging adults.
Question: How do you work with in home care providers to assist with following your care plans?
Dr. Nguyen: There are many different types of in-home care providers. Home health providers are assigned by orders from a physician. In order to continue home healthcare services, there is communication between the home health agency and the primary care physician. Communication may come in the form of fax, letters, or direct phone calls. Here, the Emory Coordinated Care Center offers registered nurse case management to assist in carrying out patient care plans.
Question: A friend’s mom recently fell, and after the initial injury, it seemed like her health deteriorated rapidly. Why is that? How can I help my own parent avoid that?
Dr. Nguyen: It is more difficult for an older person to recover because of other possible underlying conditions they had prior to the fall. Immobility after a fall can also lead to slower recovery. The best ways to prevent a fall are to stay active. Depending on your health conditions, you may require balance exercises, appropriate assistive devices and making sure your environment is safe. Having your hearing and vision checked regularly could also help prevent falls.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our live chat. You can read the full chat transcript here and learn more about Emory Coordinated Care Centers below.