Know about geriatric medical care resources.
Northwest Arkansas is unusual with all the excellent health care resources for the aging. With special health care clinics for the aging in Fayetteville, Springdale and Bella Vista, doctors and health care staff who specialize in care of the aging are accessible for everyone over the age of 65.
What is a geriatrician? We all know what a pediatrician is – a specialized physician who cares for children. A GERIATRICIAN is a physician who has special training and experience to provide care for the ageing. Geriatricians who study additional years in a formal training program to study geriatric medicine, a Geriatric Fellowship program, have the highest level of specialized practice. These are Fellowship Trained Geriatricians and they take an additional medical exam to gain an additional certificate of Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine.
The Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine exam can also be taken by Family Practice physicians and Internists. They then become certified after passing the exam that has questions solely on medical care for the ageing. Then there are physicians who have years of experience in a medical practice primarily treating older adults, and they may call themselves geriatricians, but the term is primarily reserved for the physician who has specific training and a certification in geriatric medicine.
Who can see a geriatrician?
The two geriatric clinics in our area accept patients who have Medicare. If you are 65 and older you will be accepted as a patient, or if you are a younger Medicare patient, call one of the clinics to ask their specific requirements. Both the Schmieding Center in Springdale and the Pat Walker Clinic in Fayetteville take younger patients who have signs and symptoms of dementia (memory loss, loss of insight, reasoning, judgement).
Northwest Arkansas has two health care systems designed specifically to provide health care for the aging. The medical directors of each clinic are geriatricians and geriatricians and other experienced physicians in care of the aging provide the health care services, as well as nurse practitioners who specialize in care of the aging. The Pat Walker Senior Health Clinic also has two masters geriatric/medical social workers as well as a gerontologist.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS GERIATRIC CLINICS:
The Schmieding Center for Senior Health was established with the very generous gift from Lawrence Schmieding to build the first geriatric clinic in Northwest Arkansas. Mr. Schmieding became dedicated to providing special care to the aging and to provide trained caregivers for the aging due to his brother’s diagnosis of dementia and his needs for care. This Springdale clinic opened in 2000 providing physicians, a neuropsychologist specializing in memory disorders, and a physical therapist specializing in treatment of the ageing. Senior health care services are also provided at the Schmieding clinic in Bella Vista. Schmieding Center for Senior Health is located at 2422 N. Thompson in Springdale. Call the health care office ata 479-750-6566. The senior health center in Bella Vista is located at 1801 Forest Drive, Bella Vista.
The Pat Walker Senior Health Center is located on the Washington Regional Medical Center campus at 12 E. Appleby in Fayetteville. The health care center has geriatricians, a geriatric neuropsychologist specializing in memory disorders, a neurologist specializing in Parkinson’s Disease, a urologist, nurse practitioners and medical social workers specializing in care of the aging. A gerontologist also provides testing and counseling. The Center for Exercise is located in the Pat Walker Senior Center also. Call 479-463-4444 for more information.