Aging Optimally

April 01, 2012

Stay Healthy and Active with Help from the Center for Optimal Aging at Providence San Pedro

Maintaining an active lifestyle and independence as we age is important to almost everyone. But some people do need help adjusting to the changes in their lives as they grow older. And that’s why Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro has established the Center for Optimal Aging.

This outpatient center is essentially a one-stop-shop, featuring a multispecialty assessment team focused on the needs of older adults. These experts are skilled in evaluating mobility, balance, nutrition and cognitive performance. From there, they provide information and resources that help patients retain or improve their vitality.

“Our program really addresses body, mind and spirit because the aging process affects all three,” says Anne Lemaire, director of business development at Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro. “We look at the whole person—and their family—to address their needs as aging adults.”

The team collaborates with primary care physicians who refer patients to the center for evaluation and recommendations.

“We want to be a resource for information and expertise that can empower physicians, patients and their families in decision-making that can improve the quality of an older adult’s life,” Lemaire says.

Making Connections

The center can connect seniors and caregivers with housing options and in-home care, mobility and home safety specialists, support groups, legal resources, palliative and hospice care, fitness and social clubs, volunteer opportunities and much more.

The center also offers a lecture series for caregivers. Scheduled topics include senior depression and memory loss, ways to evaluate a nursing home, and determining if an older adult can still drive safely.

If there are driving concerns, patients can be referred to a training program at the Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro Rehancentre that’s tailored to the needs of people with illness- or are-related issues. The Rehabcentre also offers occupational, physical and speech therapies, as well as experts trained in stroke recovery.

“Our San Pedro campus is uniquely equipped with expertise including one of the very few geriatric psychiatric units in a California hospital; plus, we’re recognized as a certified primary stroke center by The Joint Commission,” says Nancy Carlson, chief executive of Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro. “This, combined with our center’s skilled team, gives us the resources we need to help patients lead their best lives.”