Duke's geriatric specialists work with older people who have a broad range of health and wellness concerns related to the aging process. After performing a comprehensive and sensitive evaluation, we recommend an individual treatment plan that addresses your medical, functional, and emotional needs. If you or your loved one is facing a life-threatening or terminal illness, we offer end-of-life care through our palliative care and hospice services. Our goal is to maximize your quality of life and help you stay as healthy and independent as possible.
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Nationally Ranked Geriatric Care
Specialized Care for Elderly People with Medical Concerns
Elderly people who are coping with medical problems or mental decline need additional specialized care and assistance. That’s the role of geriatric medicine. It focuses on the medical, social, and psychological issues that often affect older adults, who may have complex and multiple health concerns.
Our geriatric medicine experts complete additional training in geriatrics, which is a specialized branch of primary care. Our team of physicians, social workers, psychologists, nurses, and physical and occupational therapists work with you or your loved ones to help you prevent and/or manage the chronic diseases and long-term illnesses that may accompany the aging process. Our geriatricians provide consultation and evaluation for older patients with multiple illnesses or functional impairment. In addition, we coordinate care with specialists throughout the Duke system, including cardiologists, cancer specialists, neurologists, psychiatrists, and others. We help you adapt to new living environments or impairments, and help you live the healthiest life possible.
Comprehensive Support Services
We work closely with caregivers to help them cope with the emotional, psychological, and physical challenges of living with and caring for a loved one. Our services include evaluation, counseling, and referrals for caregiver stress, daily-living challenges, and issues related to age-related decline and neurological disorders. We also offer long-term care consultation, planning, and referrals. Many of these services are provided through the Duke Family Support Program, a component of the Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development.
Outpatient Geriatric Psychiatry Care
We maintain an outpatient psychiatry clinic for older patients facing mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Team Approach to Care
Our geriatric specialists include nurses, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and speech pathologists and audiologists, who work together to help you manage age-related disabilities, illnesses, and concerns. Likewise, chronic and complex medical conditions require us to partner with many specialists throughout Duke Health. We help you obtain the necessary treatment for your individual needs.
Duke Geriatric Evaluation and Treatment (GET) Clinic
Together with the Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, we have helped thousands of “frail elders” -- older people with multiple health problems -- enjoy more robust health and a better quality of life.
Geriatric Inpatient Consultations
We provide specialized geriatric consultations at Duke University Hospital for frail older adults with complex, life-threatening, or chronic conditions including dementia, delirium, and persistent pain. Our program draws on resources within the hospital, as well as from home health agencies, hospice, local communities, and outpatient providers. We enhance hospital care and assist in easing the transition to subsequent care at home or in other care settings.
Palliative Care and Hospice Care
If you or your loved one requires end-of-life care or is coping with a terminal illness, our skilled and caring geriatricians manage symptoms, ease discomfort -- both physical and emotional -- and provide support to you and your family members. When the time comes for terminal care (usually thought of as the last six months of life), we may recommend hospice and can coordinate your hospice care.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our geriatrics program is among the nation's top 10% of hospitals for geriatrics, according to US News & World Report for 2020–2021.