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. …