Care for Seniors and the Elderly
Duke's geriatric medicine specialists work with older people who have a broad range of health and wellness concerns related to the aging process. Following 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.
Nationally Ranked Geriatric Care
Elderly people who are coping with medical problems or mental decline particularly require 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 experience complex and multiple health concerns.
Our geriatric medicine specialists 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 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, and impairments, and help you to live the healthiest life possible.
- Top ranked care. We are consistently ranked among the best geriatric medicine programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
- Comprehensive support services. We work closely with you to help you 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, speech pathologists and audiologists, who work together to help you manage age-related disabilities, illnesses and concerns. We help you obtain the necessary treatment for your individual needs.
- Access to Duke specialists. Chronic and complex medical conditions require the partnership of many specialists. We coordinate your care with the full spectrum of specialists at Duke.
- Duke Geriatric Evaluation and Treatment (GET) clinic. In partnership with 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 pain management. Our program draws on resources within the hospital, as well as 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 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.