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Meeting a growing need

Because of the unique health needs of older adults, Cornerstone has changed their practice to focus exclusively on adult patients.

I’m sure by now you know that the first baby boomers turned 65 this year, making them eligible for Medicare. In addition, more of us are living longer than ever thanks to advances in technology and medications to better manage chronic disease. Unfortunately, the “silver tsunami” of older adults joining Medicare is expected to significantly tax an already stressed health care system.

While the state and federal governments work to find a solution, some health care providers see this time as an opportunity to shift the way we care for our patients.

“For years, our system has encouraged the treatment of disease and illness, not really focusing on improving the overall wellness of the patient,” says Gabriel Lascar, MD, medical director at Memorial Cornerstone Medicine. “Now we have an opportunity to partner with our patients to develop a treatment plan that not only effectively addresses their illness, but also helps them improve their overall health.”

Memorial Cornerstone Medicine is embracing this approach. Because of the unique health needs of older adults, Cornerstone has changed their practice to focus exclusively on adult patients. This move is crucial in Yakima, where the population of residents older than 65 now exceeds the state and national average—and is continuing to grow.

Changing needs

According to Dr. Lascar, adult patients often struggle with unique issues. They experience more chronic conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. They often juggle numerous medications, each potentially altering the effectiveness of the other. Another challenge is that people are remaining active longer, and some aren’t willing or able to acknowledge that their bodies are changing as they age.

“Weekend warriors in their 20s aren’t as resilient in their 50s, so there’s an opportunity to educate our patients on the importance of proper conditioning and other preventive medicine,” says Dr. Lascar. “By focusing on adult care, we can specialize in those unique challenges of the adult patient and guide them to live healthier lives, maintain their independence longer and preserve their quality of life—for the rest of their life.”

To schedule an appointment at Memorial Cornerstone Medicine, call 248-3263.
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