Thanks to onsite medical and assisted living resources, Mary Gasich is able to keep a fairly active lifestyle, including frequent visits to great-granddaughter Claudia Mandrell, and others in her extended family.
Piece of Mind
Geriatric group practice focuses on long-term care facility residents
St. Anthony's geriatric medical team makes "house calls" throughout the region
to see patients in long-term care and assisted living facilities.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 6.5 million older adults will need some assistance with daily living activities as they age. While that could mean a little help with meals or home upkeep, it also defines a growing number of people who are making assisted living facilities their new home address.
“I can be by myself or I can go outside and see friends,” says Mary Gasich, a south St. Louis County resident who moved from her own home into an assisted living facility after having a stroke earlier this year.“And I can see my family here or at their homes whenever I want.”
Gasich receives daily living assistance and takes advantage of onsite primary care doctor visits. As part of a specialized long-term care group practice, St. Anthony’s sends a team of physicians and nurse practitioners to take care of patients in more than two dozen long-term care and assisted living facilities.
“We see patients at least once a month in each facility,” says primary care physician Roshan Sabar, MD, who regularly packs a rolling medical bag and physician’s tote when she travels the region seeing patients. “It is like a house call, but we see our patients in assisted living or long-term care facilities. We try to make it as easy as possible for them to have consistent medical care.”
For Gasich’s family, the onsite doctors are a blessing. “I would have taken her to her own doctor if she wanted that, but this makes it easy,” says daughter Marla Heneghan, who lives at least an hour away from her mother. “I was worried when she was on her own, but now she still has a bit of independence and gets the medical care she needs. Dr. Sabar oversees her care, and the facility staff brings my mom her medicine three times a day.”
Still an independent spirit, Gasich often is picked up for family gatherings at her son’s home. As she continues to recover from her stroke, Gasich keeps her mind active teaching her great-grandchildren how to play card games.
Heneghan smiles as she looks at her mother. “It is peace of mind because mom has a doctor who understands older adults and I know she’s being cared for in a safe environment.”
Dr. Roshan Sabar is one of several dedicated members of a specialized health care practice at St. Anthony’s that focuses solely on making “house calls” to area long-term care and assisted living centers. Instead of having frail elderly patients arrange transportation to and from a primary care physician’s office, the medical team visits 28 regional facilities at least once a month. Physicians also serve as medical directors for 25 of those facilities.
The team includes:
In addition, the team works with St. Anthony’s Senior Services to arrange any specialty care or laboratory tests, as well as partners with hospice and palliative care services that also are available in the long-term care facilities.
Since the group practice was established, the number of patients served has grown significantly. Now, the team handles up to 2,000 patient visits per month around the region, bringing compassionate medical care where aging adults need it most.
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
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