Taking a patient-centered, holistic approach to caring for our aging population. | MedStar Health

Taking a Patient-centered, Holistic Approach to Caring for Our Aging Population.

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Pictured above: Charles Hawley and Audrey Randall-Harley discuss their experience during a visit to the Center for Successful Aging at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center.

“Are you still able to do the things you enjoy?”
“Do you have plans for advanced care?
“What are your long-term goals?”

Before visiting the Center for Successful Aging (CSA) at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, 81-year-old Charles Hawley had never been asked such important questions about his well-being and plans for the future.

“I was blown away by the level of personal attention and care I received from the very first visit,” says the retired U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer. “I knew from that moment that this is the kind of care I should be receiving, especially at my age.”

Helping older patients like Hawley get the specialized care they need to manage their physical, mental and emotional health is the goal of the CSA, says Rezanne Khalil, MD, medical director.

“Today’s older adults face very unique health challenges,” she says. “We’ve created a space where our patients, their families and caregivers can benefit from a holistic approach to care.”

Patients are provided a specialized care team—including a geriatrician, pharmacist, physical therapist, and social worker—that partners with the patients’ primary care physician, specialists, caregivers and family. This approach helps ensure patients receive more coordinated care.

“All of my husband’s care providers communicate with each other and work together as one united team,” says Audrey Randall-Hawley, Mr. Hawley’s wife and caregiver. “That’s something we never had before.”

Graphic showing the growth of Maryland's Aging Population.

Thanks to this coordinated care, Randall-Hawley says that her husband could eliminate four medications he had been prescribed before coming to the center.

“Having a pharmacist right there working with the rest of the team, they were able to determine that many of the medications my husband was taking were no longer necessary,” she says. “To me, that’s truly personalized care.”

The first-in-the-region center opened in the summer of 2021 in response to the rapid rise in aging Maryland residents. According to the state Department of Aging, nearly 23% of Marylanders are over age 60, a number that is expected to increase to 26% by 2040.1

Dr. Khalil says that with this increase in the older-adult population comes the need for more specialized care to fit a wide range of health needs and goals.

Our center’s outpatient services are designed to help patients remain at home instead of being admitted to the hospital or moving to a skilled-nursing facility. If a skilled-nursing setting is necessary, partnerships with facilities across Montgomery County allow for a smooth transition of care as patients move from the hospital to inpatient care or from inpatient care to back home.

“It gives me such peace of mind to know that my husband’s care is in such good hands now,” says Randall-Hawley, 72. “Now, I know the kind of care and attention I should always expect from a health care provider.”

1 Maryland Department of Aging, State Plan on Aging 2022-2025

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To learn more about MedStar Health’s programs and initiatives across Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region that are contributing to healthier communities, visit MedStarHealth.org/Community Health or email communityhealth@medstar.net.