Published on March 26th, 2014
St. Luke’s Opens Center for Positive Aging in Bethlehem
Services Focus on the Special Needs and Coordination of Care for the Aging Adult
St. Luke’s celebrated the opening of a new outpatient center in Bethlehem that focuses on the special needs and care coordination for the aging adult. The St. Luke’s Center for Positive Aging, staffed by St. Luke’s Senior Care Associates, combines a specialty team of geriatricians, nurse practitioners and social workers to provide consultations, comprehensive evaluations and recommendations for senior care.
“We are so pleased to be able to offer this service in the Lehigh Valley,” said Carol Kuplen, Chief Operating Officer, St. Luke’s University Hospital – Bethlehem, and Chief Nursing Officer, St. Luke’s University Health Network. “This fine program is the most recent addition to our comprehensive menu of services offered to our senior patients. St. Luke’s values and appreciates our senior citizens and believe these types of services are a worthwhile investment in the health of our community.”
The team works with patients, family members and family physicians to evaluate the patient’s physical, emotional, social and functional needs and assist in planning for their future. These services are provided in combination with the patient’s primary care physician, as well as other medical specialists based on the needs of the patient.
“St. Luke’s goal is to provide a positive aging experience for older adults in our community through specialized services and care designed for seniors,” said Alaa-Eldin Mira, MD, Medical Director of St. Luke’s Center for Positive Aging. “We recognize that aging adults have unique needs and challenges. We are here to help seniors and their caregivers get the most out of life through a wealth of programs, classes and tools designed by geriatric specialists.”
St. Luke’s specialists are available to provide guidance on senior care and caregiver issues, continued Dr. Mira. “We provide patients and caregivers with easy access to the information and community resources they need, including assisting with making appointments with social workers to further address any concerns or needs of the patient and caregiver,” he said.
When to Consider an Assessment
An assessment can help diagnosis and address problems so that a longer, higher quality of life may be sustained. It is not always easy to recognize when help is needed. Consider the following areas when determining the need for an assessment:
- Has there been a decline in physical and/or mental health?
- Are there issues with maintaining daily living skills?
- Has there been a decline in appearance and hygiene?
- Have multiple medications been prescribed?
- Has there been a change in management of finances?
- Is there a proper support system in place?
The goal of St. Luke’s Center for Positive Aging is to keep patients functioning at their highest emotional, social and physical level and to allow seniors to remain independent and in their own, familiar environment whenever possible, according to Anne Grogan, Director of Senior Care Services, St. Luke’s University Network. “In cases where caregivers are involved, this program helps the caregiver navigate the eldercare system, which can at times be very overwhelming,” she said.
What to Expect Out of an Assessment
The senior assessment will assist our healthcare team in understanding the patient’s medical history, health condition and needs. Senior assessment services consist of a physical exam, psychological testing, diagnostic testing, care coordination and family conference to discuss the findings and the physician’s recommendations. A full medical report is then sent to the family physician for review and follow-up.
Schedule an Assessment Without Referral
If a patient or family member is concerned with general competency, memory loss, managing multiple medications, living alone or if they are interested in a base-line evaluation, you may contact St. Luke’s Senior Care Associates directly for an appointment; a physician referral is not necessary. Senior assessment services are covered by Medicare.
The Bethlehem location is the second site for St. Luke’s Center for Positive Aging. The offices are as follows:
St. Luke’s Center for Positive Aging – Bethlehem
St. Luke’s North, 153 Brodhead Road, Bethlehem, PA 18017
St. Luke’s Center for Positive Aging – Warren
St. Luke’s Hillcrest Professional Plaza, Building 302, Memorial Parkway, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
For more information about these or any physician services, please call St. Luke’s InfoLink toll-free at 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537) or visit www.sluhn.org.