GERIATRIC CARE AT PPC

PPC is devoted to geriatric medicine, and we have spent most of our careers caring for geriatric patients. We love watching a ninety year old patient strut into the office, negotiate about tests and medicines, share stories with us about her family, and then walk out with a smile on her face and a bounce in her step. We love visiting a patient in his assisted living room and have him ask us to finish quickly becasue he wants to get to a trivia game on time. To them, age is just a number. In their minds, they are much younger than that. They have taken full change of their health, and of their lives. That is what we hope for in all our elderly patients.

Geriatric patients are a diverse lot. Some are confined to wheelchairs, have debilitating pain, or poorly functioning hearts. Others function well but contend with chronic illness. Still others have few problems at all. Age does not distinguish one patient from the next. Rather it is prior habits, luck, quality of medical care, and attitude that impacts a person's health. The first two parts we cannot change. But the second two we can.

There is no group more in need of the PPC mode of care than geriatric patients. Accessibility is crucial to maintaining good health. Most of our older patients require frequent follow-up visits for acute and chronic illness, as well as an ability to get medical attention quickly. We have found that more visits translate into better outcomes. Visits can also be used to discuss problems, to educate, and to promote prevention. At PPC, we will make accessibility easy for our older patients.

The guiding philosophy of PPC is that there is no single right approach that is appropriate for every patient.  Sometimes patients are more sick from their treatment than their conditions, and it's important to work together to plan the most sensible approach of care. As a PPC patient we discuss all aspects of your health with you and we give you multiple options for your medical care. Just because it's broken doesn't mean we have to fix it. That's up to you.

Our goal is to keep our elderly patients active and independent, and the personalized approach helps achieve that objective. But that does not mean we do not intervene medically when necessary. Sometimes physical therapy, home health, holistic treatments, and even hospital-level care will be required. Exercise is a crucial element of care, no matter what a patient's physical state is, and we will pursue a rigorous physical regimen with all of our patients. We will work with families when necessary to help their parents/relatives stay healthy. We will confront memory loss and physical disability sensibly, with every reasaonable means we have at our disposal. We will treat illness quickly before it becomes severe and potentially life threatening. We will discuss with patients and their families their wishes for resuscitation and life support, hospitalization, testing, and screening tests and providing them with a reliable risk/benefit assessment. Most of all, we will come to know our older patients well, so when a change in health does occur we can always act in their interest.

Getting older can be a difficult experience when a patient loses control of his or her own health. At PPC we will not let that happen. Our patients and their families will attain the tools, knowledge, and attention necessary to give them the best chance to maintain their physical and mental well being throughout their entire lives.