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Aurora Health Care establishes new resource for area seniors

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Senior Health and Wellness Clinic located in East Troy

With Walworth County’s senior population expected to dramatically increase in future years, Aurora Health Care recently started a new resource serving Walworth County’s senior population. The Senior Health and Wellness Clinic, located at Aurora Health Center in East Troy, provides comprehensive assessments that focus on the medical, psychological, environmental, and social issues that may interfere with older adults’ daily activities.

Key benefits of the clinic include:

  • A multidisciplinary team of specialists, trained in geriatric care, share in the evaluation and work together with families to provide solutions for the person experiencing aging related issues.
  • Following the assessment process, a report of the findings and recommendations are sent to the patient’s primary care physician.
  • The center’s team of geriatric professionals is trained to assist with the needs of family members and caregivers.

Britt Kolar, MD, medical director, Senior Health and Wellness Clinic, said as people continue living longer, health care providers are seeing an increase in the number of age-related issues among patients.

“These issues often extend beyond physical conditions and can include depression, dementia, lack of socialization, personal safety, and medication management. It can be very complex,’’ said Dr. Kolar. “Our goal is to help the patient, his or her family and caregivers, and primary care physician by addressing these concerns in a coordinated fashion and develop solutions that fit the patient’s individual needs.’’

Demographic information shows that the demand for this type of program will be needed as the county’s population ages. In Walworth County, there are over 13,000 residents aged 65 or better. According to University of Wisconsin-Extension estimates, Walworth County’s elderly population is expected to more than double in the next 25 years. Demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the growth of Walworth County’s senior population exceeds state averages, 11.8 percent versus 7.9 percent.

Christine Weerts, geriatric nurse practitioner, Senior Health and Wellness Clinic, said the clinic has access to other health care professionals from various areas with specialized training in caring for seniors. This team of specialists can include a geriatrician, social worker, nutritionist, physical therapist, and pharmacist.

“We collaborate on an assessment of the patient,’’ she said. “We identify the needs, the areas of concern, we touch base with the family and caregivers, and primary care physician. When our report is complete, we send it to the patient’s physician for review and follow up.’’

Referrals to the clinic can be made by individuals, family members, health care providers or other professionals. The Senior Health and Wellness Clinic is located at Aurora Health Center in East Troy, 2483 Corporate Circle. Geriatric assessments are available to patients on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. The assessments are covered by Medicare.

For more information or to make a referral, please contact Christine Weerts, geriatric nurse practitioner, at 262-642-2000 or christine.weerts@aurora.org.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Andy Johnson (262-767-6267)

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