Specialized Care for Older Adults is Now More Important Than Ever

The global COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of the importance of making sure our older friends and family members have access to quality health care. Even outside of COVID-19, our seniors need specialized doctors and facilities who understand and can accommodate the unique demands at this stage of life. As the Big Bend’s local trusted health care plan, Capital Health Plan is proud to offer this type of care at the Nancy Van Vessem, M.D. Center for Healthy Aging, located in the new Capital Health Plan Metropolitan Health Center. Ensuring access to this type of care is especially important to meet the rapidly growing needs of our aging Baby Boomer generation — a population of nearly 61,000 area residents.

This new CHP facility is focused entirely on age-friendly, specialized care for members ages 65+ and was designated as an “Age-Friendly Health System” by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. It offers comprehensive services and specialized physicians to help keep patients on the path of healthy living and provide them with dedicated assistance with their chronic and complex medical needs. This balanced approach works to maintain not just healthy bodies, but also healthy minds by promoting a positive outlook.

Healthy living begins with a holistic approach. With that in mind, The Center for Healthy Aging is setting a new standard for quality health care – with a focus on the “Four Ms” that define healthy aging:

  • What Matters: Knowing and meeting each older adult's specific health and quality-of-life goals and tailoring care to the individual.
  • Medication: Choosing medications, when needed, that minimize negative impacts across settings of care and do not interfere with quality-of-life goals.
  • Mentation: Using mental activity to prevent, identify, treat, and manage dementia, depression, and delirium.
  • Mobility: Ensuring that older adults move about safely every day in order to maintain function and do What Matters.​

In addition, The Center for Healthy Aging also helps address the leading challenges facing health care for elders, which were identified in a survey by WebMD and The John A. Hartford Foundation:

  • Most older people have multiple chronic conditions and take 5 to 10 medications daily.
  • Most older patients experience some level of disability, with nearly half reporting difficulty walking or moving around.
  • While depression should not be a normal part of aging, more than 40% of respondents mistakenly believed it is normal for people to get depressed as they get older.

With these challenges in mind, The Center for Healthy Aging works diligently to ensure the mental and physical well-being of older CHP members. Using a holistic approach that emphasizes healthy practices for both the body and the mind, the Center provides high quality, personalized care that is so necessary as patients grow older.

For more information about The Center for Healthy Aging, visit capitalhealth.com/metropolitan-health-center.