Team of experts focuses on older-adult care, provides one stop for multiple specialties
UC Davis Health today officially opened its new Healthy Aging Clinic in midtown Sacramento. This one-stop clinic serves patients 65 and older and their caregivers. It allows patients and their families to leverage integrated specialty clinical care and services that can lead to better quality of life and facilitate independent living.
“For older adults, we need to have a more specialized lens through which we help people to stay healthy at a time when there are more challenges to doing that, and that meets them where they are and is delivered in a way that matters to them,” said UC Davis Health CEO David Lubarsky. “We want to give that back to them so they can live the heathiest, highest functioning life they can as independently as possible or with their caregivers as needed.”
Patients access the clinic through referral for assessments from their primary care provider. The team includes primary care geriatricians and multidisciplinary specialists, who offer cognitive assessments, a pharmacy for medication management, physical and occupational therapy, caregiving support, nutrition consults, a dementia care program, a mobility clinic and, eventually, advanced care planning guidance. They also partner with the California Alzheimer’s Disease Center within the clinic.
Since its soft launch in January, the team of geriatric specialists has seen more than 1,300 new patients. In addition, caregivers of those patients benefit from consultations with experts from the Family Caregiving Institute at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis.
“Family caregivers are life-support for their older adults and valuable members of the health care team,” said Terri Harvath, institute director. “We have met with nearly 200 caregivers to so far and partnered with them to understand and manage their stress and create a plan that works.”
Every day in the United States, 10,000 people turn 65. The number of older adults will more than double over the next several decades and represent greater than 20% of the population by 2050.
“In less than 10 years, one in every four Californians will be an older adult. This tremendous shift in our state’s demographics is driving us to seek out unique opportunities for care and prepare for our changing patient population,” explained Michael Condrin, the chief operating officer of Ambulatory Care for UC Davis Health.
“The UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center has advanced the science of healthy brain aging and Alzheimer’s care innovations for 30 years. And the Family Caregiving Institute is convening national conversations to identify and support the millions of caregivers nationwide,” said Susan Murin, interim dean for the UC Davis School of Medicine.
“We must innovate in how we educate future providers. Nurse practitioner and physician assistant students will experience clinical rotations in this clinic, while a new fellowship will prepare doctors to care for the growing number of geriatric patients,” added Stephen Cavanagh, School of Nursing dean.
The Healthy Aging Clinic is located at 3160 Folsom Blvd., Suite 1400, in Sacramento.
In less than 10 years, one in every four Californians will be an older adult. This tremendous shift in our state’s demographics is driving us to seek out unique opportunities for care and prepare for our changing patient population.