No matter what our age we want to feel and look our best. Good health is something never to be taken for granted, and is even more precious as we get older and want to live active lives. All too often chronic conditions catch up with us, or recovering from an injury or illness takes longer than before.
Centegra Health System is launching a new program in geriatric medicine, a medical specialty for older adults. Rex Nzeribe (En-zer-ee-bay), MD, a fellowship-trained geriatrician, heads this program focusing on conditions such as:
- cardiovascular health
- chronic diseases, such as diabetes
- dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease
- environmental optimization
- falls and mobility issues
- medication management
- vision and hearing
- weight changes and nutritional issues
“It is important to maintain and optimize one’s health status so that we can enjoy getting older,” Dr. Nzeribe says. “There is an increasing need to provide comprehensive care for older adults, specifically to promote functionality.”
Dr. Nzeribe has been a physician for 24 years, beginning as a general practitioner in Nigeria, Africa, then moving into research for several years. He later moved to California and completed his Residency in internal medicine at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Santa Clara. Dr. Nzeribe was awarded a Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
“I then saw a great and growing need for geriatric care in the population. Many times people have been on prescriptions for years and really need to be re-evaluated. They have not been to their family doctor for some time, and their needs can change dramatically as they age.
“Geriatric care can be a revelation for a patient, in terms of their screenings, diagnosis and treatment. I also talk to the caregiver, as well, to be sure that they are getting the proper care themselves and are able to manage their patient, who is usually a parent or spouse.
“Many times it is a woman who does not take proper care of herself, and that makes the task so much harder when caring for someone. I want to make sure there is updated education, diagnosis and treatment for the patient and the caregiver.” Dr. Nzeribe addresses caregiver issues because often spouses/caregivers are engrossed in providing round-the-clock care for a loved one, to the detriment and neglect of their own health.
“We want to organize the care plan for the patient and the family to optimize quality of life expectations for them,” he adds. “That is successful aging.”