Why Choose Us for Geriatric Care?
We have several dedicated multidisciplinary programs aimed at understanding and treating disorders that affect older people. These include:
Center for Comprehensive Care and Research on Memory Disorders
The Memory Disorders Center uses a comprehensive approach to identify all possible causes of memory loss or behavior change. Our geriatricians collaborate with the University of Chicago Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology for diagnosing and managing memory disorders associated with aging.
Older patients with challenging arthritis problems are seen by a University of Chicago physician who is board-certified in both geriatric medicine and rheumatology.
We created the SOCARE clinic (Specialized Oncology Care & Research in the Elderly) to anticipate and address the specific care needs of elderly cancer patients and survivors. The SOCARE clinic is unique in Chicago, and is staffed by board-certified physicians with expertise in geriatric medicine, geriatric oncology, and palliative care.
Palliative Care for Patients with Dementia
The PEACE program (Palliative Excellence in Alzheimer’s Care Efforts) helps people with dementia and their families to manage symptoms, receive support, and achieve a peaceful, dignified death (often through the use of hospice). Patients and families involved in the PEACE program report less pain, better support, and more control over the care provided at the end of life.
Convenient Specialty Care
Specialty services provided at our outpatient facilities, such as rheumatology, dermatology, psychiatry, audiology screening, nutrition counseling, and other services.
Attention to Quality of Life
We emphasize quality of life as a key goal of medical care. Our team is attuned to how functional status (the ability to perform basic activities like eating, dressing walking, shopping, and cooking) dramatically influences a person’s overall quality of life and independence. We work closely with patients’ families to provide the best possible quality of life for each individual.
Sensitivity to End-of-Life Issues
Our team guards each individual’s comfort and dignity as they confront the end of their lives.
Ongoing Research Into Geriatric Health
University of Chicago geriatricians are on the leading edge in understanding the unique nature of how health concerns and medical treatment affect the elderly. For example, a Center of Excellence grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation supports research on how to improve the care of older adults with diabetes, cancer, memory disorders, and multiple other issues. The University of Chicago Medicine is the only medical center in Illinois with this grant. Other research findings include:
- Dementia is under-detected. A University of Chicago study showed that 65 percent of patients with dementia had never seen a doctor for memory problems. Those with mild dementia are twice as likely to not be diagnosed, compared with people with severe dementia.
- Hospitalized older adults are at risk of having geriatric syndromes overlooked, including memory problems, confusion, falls, or incontinence.
- The needs of older adults with cancer have not been adequately addressed because (until recently) most clinical trials did not include many older adults.