Elderly Texans Get More than Just Physical Care
Under a fantastic program – the UNT Health Science Center’s Seniors Assisting in Geriatric Education (SAGE) – the elderly citizens of Texas get more than just a physical check-up. The idea of the program is to actually listen to the elderly, while checking on their basic vitals. Because – as this program has identified – the elderly need so much more than just a blood pressure check. Invariably as one ages, they see fewer people so being cooped up alone for many days or even weeks can actually make someone ill. As well as crucial monitoring, this program has led to better communication between patients and caretakers which leads to a general advancement in how to improve their health.
A second year medical student from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine went to check up on 102-year-old Beauregard Hale and listened to his story of his recent trip to NYC and Washington DC. Mr. Hale is one of 272 elderly participating in the SAGE program. And the student is impressed. He said, “Mr. Hale, he’s such a healthy person. He’s an amazing man.” So it’s good for the elderly individual and inspirational for the young student – a program that is a win-win for everyone.
The program started two years ago and has already served 412 seniors in the area. It has a funding of $2m from a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation as well as the same amount from the UNTHSC.