Why Senior Care clinics?
"As people age, the body changes are unique; they need specialized understanding," Gowrishankar Gnanasekaran, MD, MPH, Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at ARC Senior Care Pflugerville told the Austin American-Statesman in this recent interview.
People aged 65 and older are the fastest-growing age group in Austin, according to 2020 census data analyzed by the city of Austin's Planning Department. But most doctors don't have the time or the training to handle the issues of aging, Dr. Gnanasekaran said. This data prompted Austin Regional Clinic to open its first Senior Care clinic six months ago.
How is a geriatrician different from a family doctor?
The staff at ARC's Senior Care in Pflugerville are geriatric specialists. The clinic only takes patients who are older than 55, have Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans and have chronic health concerns.
Geriatrics focuses on how to help adults age gracefully, Cathy Anne Castillo, MD, Family Medicine and Geriatrics at ARC Senior Care Pflugerville, said. That means looking for fall risks, evaluating medication interactions, and looking for memory problems early. In a family practice, "you're so busy fixing the problems, you don't have preventative time to limit problems before they start," Dr. Castillo said.
Our Geriatrician looks for those aging problems and then coordinates care among specialists. They also work with the family as well as the patient. The clinic can serve as the person's primary care clinic, but it also can serve as a consultant to ARC's family practice clinics or other specialists.
More time for patients, more room for families
Compared with ARC's other more general clinics, ARC Senior Clinic allows for longer appointment times, Dr. Castillo said, so that doctors have more time to look at the whole picture and focus on prevention and being proactive.
The hallways are also larger for wheelchairs or walkers, and the rooms are a little larger to accommodate family members.
Make an appointment today
The ARC Senior Care team works with patients to manage medications and health concerns, coordinating with family and specialists when necessary. Comprehensive care includes preventing and treating chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease, obesity, arthritis, and more.
To make an appointment, call ARC Senior Care Pflugerville at 512-990-4260 or ARC Georgetown at 512-819-0264.