Where to Turn for Geriatric Care

Article excerpt

The first step in helping an elderly person is identifying the cause of his or her problem. Confusion, for example, could be caused by medication, an infection, depression, stroke, malnutrition, isolation, dehydration, or Alzheimer's disease or another dementia.

The experts suggest consulting a doctor or group that specializes in treating the elderly. Some specialists in the St. Louis area are:

***** GERIATRIC SCREENING

Alexian Brothers Hospital:

Three senior health centers, geriatric psychiatry, arthritis center. Information: 865-7963, answered by a person from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays; voice mail other times.

Bethesda General Hospital:

Acute geriatric psychiatric services. All mental illness including depression and Alzheimer's and other dementias. Assessments made in hospital, home or nursing home. Appointment or information: 772-9200, ext. 4425, answered at all times by a recorded message followed by a person.

DePaul Health Center:

St. Vincent's Division Geriatric Psychiatry Unit. General geriatric services and dementia diagnosis and treatment. Information: 344-7224, answered by a person from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays; answering machine is on at other times.

Incarnate Word Hospital:

Geriatric psychiatry unit; general geriatric services and dementia diagnosis and treatment. Information: 865-6628, always answered by a person.

Jewish Hospital Memory Diagnostic Center:

Neurological testing only. Information: 454-5605, answered by a person from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays; answering machine at other times.

St. Louis University Geriatrics:

Division of Geriatric Medicine; general geriatric services and dementia diagnosis and treatment. Information: 577-8462, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Closed through Jan. 3.

St. Louis University Division of Geriatric Psychiatry:

General geriatric services and dementia and depression diagnosis and treatment. Information: 577-8726, a person answers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; an answering machine is on at all other times.

SIU Family Practice:

Alzheimer's Program (diagnosis and care for dementia). Information: 618-233-5480, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays; emergency service all other times.

Washington University School of Medicine Memory & Aging Project:

Diagnosis. Patients who meet research criteria can enroll in clinical drug trials including social worker's services and regular monitoring. Information and appointments: 362-2683, a person answers from 8:30 to 5 p.m. weekdays; an answering machine is on at all other times.

***** HEALTH GROUPS

Many diseases have associations that offer information, support groups, services and in some cases help with care planning at low or no cost. Look in the phone book for your needs if not mentioned below.

Alzheimer's Association, St. Louis Chapter:

Help for Missouri and Illinois families. Information, respite care, registry for wanderers, support groups for patients and families, lists of service providers. Information: 432-3422 and 1-800-980-9080, answered by a person from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; at other times, a recording gives information for emergencies.

American Cancer Society, Missouri Division Inc.:

Referral to support groups, information, lists of groups providing services ranging from air lifts to wigs, transportation to treatment and some help in getting wigs, turbans, nutritional supplements and beds. Services: 567-9730, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, voice mail all other hours; 1-800-227-2345, a person answers from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, voice mail at other times.

American Cancer Society, Illinois Division Inc.

Support groups, literature and information, some help in getting wigs, turbans, beds, transportation to treatment. Services: 1-618-345-7911, 9 a.m to 5 p.m. weekdays.

American Heart Association - Illinois Affiliate:

Support groups, information, in some areas personal visits called Mended Hearts. Information: 1-800-242-8721, forwards call to nearest field office. A person answers from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays; voice mail at other times.

American Heart Association - St. Louis Chapter Missouri Affiliate

Support groups, information, personal visits called Mended Hearts, and a stroke visitation program. Information: 454-3278, answered by a person from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays; recording at other times.

Parkinson's Disease Information and Referral Center at Washington University:

Help for families in Missouri and Illinois. Respite care, exercise groups, speech therapy and support groups. Information: 362-3299, answered by a person from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays; voice mail all other times.

Arthritis Foundation:

The Eastern Missouri chapter also serves Southern Illinois. Services include support groups, exercise classes and physician referral. Information: 991-9333, answered by a person from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired:

Information, support groups, free clinic, help in selecting magnifying devices, magnifying devices sold at cost, social activities, home visits from rehabilitation teacher who will help modify home and teach the visually impaired the skills needed to stay independent. Information: 968-9000, answered by a person 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays; answering machine at other times.

St. Louis Hearing and Speech Center:

Hearing testing, hearing aids, hearing aid repair, assistive listening devices, speech evaluations and therapy for stroke and Parkinson's patients, communication aids for those who are unable to speak. Free training in using aids for family members and patients. Some financial assistance available. Some social activities. Information: 968-4710, answered by a person from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday; voice mail all other times.

***** GOVERNMENT AND SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES

The following agencies provide services ranging from hot lines to report abuse to lists of the nursing services, nursing homes and other care providers in the area. Some services are free. Others are offered on a sliding scale.

To report abuse and self-neglect:

Missouri Division of Aging Hot Line: 1-800-392-0210, 24 hours a day, seven days week

Illinois Department on Aging Hot Line: 1-800-252-8966 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Missouri Division of Aging Alternative (Community) Services:

Information on homemaker and personal care, adult day care and respite care. In most instances services are limited to Medicaid recipients, but social workers can provide referrals and help in emergencies.

- St. Louis and St. Louis County: 340-7300, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

- St. Charles County: 946-7200, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, callers get a recording followed by an operator.

- Franklin County: 583-2419, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; answering machine is on at all other times.

- Jefferson County: 789-3322, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

- CORP (St. Louis County Older Resident Programs)

CORP offers St. Louis County residents telephone reassurance, legal help, transportation, home visits, assistance with forms, taxes and home safety, care and repair. Information: 889-3516, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

In Missouri and Illinois, Area Agencies on Aging:

Provide transportation, meals and some in-home services and information about adult day care. The agencies also sponsor centers where the elderly can find a meal, companionship and activities.

- St. Louis: 658-1021, answered by a person from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

- St. Louis County: 962-0808, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

- Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles counties: 1-800-243-6060, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

- Southwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging: 1-800-326-3221, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays; answering machine is on at other times.

***** NURSING HOME INFORMATION

Information on Medicaid eligibility and nursing homes, lists of nursing homes and, in Missouri, nursing home inspection reports. The Long Term Care Ombudsman programs investigate complaints and recruit volunteers to help nursing home residents.

St. Louis Long Term Care Ombudsman Program:

Serves St. Louis and the counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson, Franklin, Warren, Pike, Lincoln and Montgomery. Information: 298-9222, answered by a person from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays; answering machine is on at other times.

Land of Lincoln Ombudsman Project:

Serves Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties. Information: 1-618-271-9140 or 1-800-644-1221, answered by a person from 9 a.m until noon and 1 to 5 p.m; answering machine is on during lunch.

***** LEGAL AID

Missouri Bar:

Referral to lawyer who specializes in Medicaid and other issues affecting the elderly. Information: 1-800-392-8777, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. weekdays. The Illinois Bar has no similar referral service.

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri:

Information: 367-1700, answered by a person from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Inc.:

Legal help for residents of Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties. Information: 1-618-271-9140 or 1-800-644-1221, answered by a person from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays; answering machine is on during lunch.

***** HOME-DELIVERED MEALS

In some areas, volunteers are needed to get meals to the elderly, and people must wait. Even so, call for services; all centers try to serve emergencies.

Meals on Wheels in St. Louis city and county: 268-1523, answered by a person or voice mail 24 hours a day.

Home Delivered Meals in St. Louis: 658-1021, answered by a person from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

St. Charles, Jefferson, Franklin and St. Louis counties: 1-800-243-6060, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Madison County: 618-465-3298 from 8 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays.

St. Clair County: In East St. Louis: 618-875-5757, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. In Belleville: 618-234-4410, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Monroe County: 618-939-8880, answered by a person from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays. Call by 9 a.m. for same-day meal delivery.

***** HOUSING

Housing Options Provided for the Elderly (HOPE):

Provides information in individual counseling sessions on older adults' housing options. Information: 776-0155, answered by a person from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays; voice mail all other times.

***** GERIATRIC CASE MANAGEMENT*

Managers assess older persons' needs, give a written evaluation and recommendation, can hire and manage care, offer counseling.

Ageless Inc., 4000 Loughborough, St. Louis, Mo. 63116.

Fee: $35 an hour. Sliding scale available. Information: 352-2503, answered by a person or answering machine.

Aging Consult, 10425 Old Olive Street Road, Suite No. 7, Creve Coeur, Mo. 63141.

Fee: $72 an hour. Counseling service covered by Medicare. Information: 997-7278, answered by a person 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; an answering service takes messages at other times.

Continucare, St. John's Mercy Medical Center's Geriatric Assessment Center, 621 South New Ballas Road, St. Louis, Mo. 63141.

Fee: $60 an hour for case management, $60 an hour for counseling; sliding scale available. Counseling service covered by Medicare. Information: 569-6169, answered by a person from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Elderassist, 52 Maryland Plaza, St. Louis, Mo. 63108.

Fee: $75 an hour for case management; $75 an hour for in-home counseling. Medicare covers counseling services; Missouri: 367-7858, answered by a person or an answering machine.

Jewish Family and Children's Service, 9385 Olive Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 63132.

Fee for services: $80 an hour; sliding fee scale available. Medicare covers counseling services. Volunteers available for money management. Information: 993-1000, answered by a person from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

*Case managers' names provided by the St. Louis chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.

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