At MedStar Health, we have a team of dementia care and cognitive experts to assist you and your loved one through diagnosis, care planning, and symptom management. We include geriatricians, geriatric psychiatrists, and neurologists as well as nurse practitioners, social workers, and therapists who can assist with all forms of dementia at all stages.
Together, our Center for Successful Aging and Behavioral Health Services department has developed the Cognitive Wellness Program to assess, identify, and treat medical and cognitive function issues that occur in aging adults. Through this collaboration, we are able to provide comprehensive treatment and care for people with cognitive impairment. This includes Alzheimer's disease and complex forms of dementia, which cause the loss of cognitive function, affecting one's memory, judgment, processing, attention span, mood, and ability to complete basic daily functions.
Our team approach to care
Our team is led by George Hennawi, MD, chief of Geriatrics and director of the Center for Successful Aging, and Elias Shaya, MD, DFAPA, regional medical director of Behavioral Health Services for MedStar Health. You can rest assured that your loved one is in good hands as our team has many years of experience caring for patients with dementia, memory loss, and other cognitive impairments. In addition, our team is well equipped to treat patients' unique needs in one convenient location.
Patient assessment and conditions treated
Prior to scheduling an appointment with our team, patients or their caregivers must complete and submit an application, which will then be reviewed by a physician. Then, the patient will receive a 90-minute initial consultation during which a specialist will review the patient's medical history, previous and current medications, and responses to past treatments. A psychiatrist will also conduct a clinical interview as well as cognitive testing, and a social worker will meet with the patient and their family to determine if social support services are needed.
We specialize in the assessment and treatment of neuro-psychiatric complications and disorders, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Behavioral disturbances
- Parkinson’s disease
- Stroke/Traumatic brain injury
In addition, we are uniquely suited to address intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder in older adults.
Based on the patient's past and current condition, as well as any prior diagnosis, the psychiatrist will determine the most effective treatment. He or she may recommend behavioral changes, such as increasing social interactions, implementing an exercise, or following a certain dietary regimen. After an assessment of current psychiatric medications is conducted, the psychiatrist will also determine whether there is a need to increase, decrease, or change the combination of medications. Additionally, the social worker will assess social needs and immediately begin to work with the patient and their family to address other needs.
Treatment and Care Options
- Behavioral interventions
- Coordination of care with other providers, when available
- Psychiatric medication management
- Recommendation for in-home assistance
- Referral to physical therapy, occupational therapy, or a speech-language pathologist
- Referral to psychotherapy
- Support groups
Learn more about Dementia and Cognitive Impairment
Online memory assessment
Test your memory with this free self-assessment of cognition and find out if you should see a geriatric specialist. Assessment used with permission of the author, S. Borson.
Muscle and Memory Class
Developed by the Cognitive Wellness Program in partnership with the Good Health Center, this class is specifically for seniors with memory and cognitive challenges. A free, 30-minute seated exercise class for patients 65 and older, it includes a combination of simple upper and lower body movements as well as mental stimulation activities. For more information and to register, call 443-444-6463.