“It’s Not Just about Living Long”…
A growing army of Baby Boomers are marching into their seventies, and, as with their elders, they aren’t necessarily ready for a front porch rocker. They are working out at the gym, exploring the great outdoors and looking for romance.
“It’s not just about living long,” says Dr. Alexander Salerno, administrative head of Salerno Medical Associates (SMA). “It’s about living well.”
The focus on preventative medicine is more important than ever as we age into our fifties, sixties, seventies and beyond. One of the keys is continually updating healthcare report cards for all patients, but especially for the AARP generation. Healthcare report cards, based on U.S. Task Force guidelines, serve as a medical biography for all our patients, updated with every visit throughout the patient’s cycle. They include our patients’ medical histories, family factors and genetics that may predict risks for diseases.
Among the items on our geriatric-care checklist are:
? Cancer awareness and screening
? Heart disease awareness and screening
? Stroke awareness and screening
? Cognitive testing for early detection of dementia
? Movement disorders which may result in slip-and-falls and potential injuries
? Medicines and immunizations that, due to the compromised immune systems that may inhibit recovery, will ward off the flu and other contagious diseases
? Education on nutrition or malnutrition that may weaken the immune system
Accenting Brain Health…
Our diagnostic modalities meet and exceed national quality measures, including but not limited to:
- Echocardiograms and vascular studies for both arteries and veins
- Transcranial dopplers measuring the flow in the brain’s blood vessels as a risk assessment of impending strokes (one of the top three killers in U.S.)
- Holters, portable home devices that record every heartbeat continuously for as long as 21 days in the patient’s home environment, monitoring circulation and pressures in blood vessels and the brain
- CogniVue, a diagnostic risk assessment test, helps with the staging of cognitive declines and dementia, identifying changes in cognitive function.
- Our board-certified staff neurologist provides neuroscience services that are particularly critical in geriatric medicine by monitoring brain activity through an electroencephalogram (EEG).
- Board certified neuroradiologists and cardiologists are affiliated with our practice
- Nutritionists educate on low-calorie and Mediterranean diets, low-sodium diets and custom tailored meal plans for healthy choices with an accent on flavorful and tasty foods
Assessing Risks of Trips and Falls…
We want our patients to know what kind of physical exercise is healthful or harmful based on their overall health and prescribed drugs. Movement disorders increase the probability of falls and accidents — the leading cause of emergency visits among men and women over the age of 62, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). The inner ear affects equilibrium and balance, and that can be a big problem. We refer to centers for balance therapy.
We do the screenings and assessments that help determine the level of risk for falls. We know how to isolate higher risks from sudden, unexplained falls and tripping accidents.
What else do we look for?
—Degenerative diseases, including spinal stenosis ( narrowing of spaces between discs), arthritis of knees and hips and disc disease increase the danger of a fall. We monitor changes in gait, balance and reaction time.
—Medicationsshould be considered and blood thinners, for example, may increase the seriousness of a fall when there are head injuries.
—The Home Environmentwhere there is a likelihood of trips and falls, including hoarding, items not being picked up and carpets and throw rugs of all kinds.
In other words, we educate as well as screen and assess, and we are graded by insurers on our efforts in this area.
Speaking of prevention, this is the place to come for flu shots, as well as Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23 immunizations. Influenza and pneumonia are among the leading causes of death among the elderly in the United States.
Call us at (973)672-8573 or make an appointment online!