NORWICH – While aging is an inevitable part of life that all face, staff at UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital say they are taking the necessary strides to ensure they remain at the forefront when it comes to caring for the area's aging population.
In the past, area geriatric patients had been limited to the access of age-specific services because of a lack of specialists trained in caring for the elderly. According to Dr. Drake Lamen, President/CEO of UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital, most of the geriatrics that have been offered to area patients have been handled at the nursing home level.
“Unfortunately, for a number of years, our community has not had an outpatient practice that focuses on the field of geriatrics,” said Lamen. “Dr. James Simcoe and Nurse Practitioner Patricia Mitchell have addressed the inpatient care of that demographic, but we haven't had an outpatient practice for people of geriatric age who live at home, which is the fastest growing segment of the local population.
Lamen noted that of that population, about 90-95 percent of those live at home. “Its been one of my goals to increase the level of service that we're able to provide by establishing a specific primary care for the over 65 crowd that balances their unique healthcare needs and location here in Chenango County.”