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Johns Hopkins Bayview News - League of Their Own
League of Their Own
Date: October 6, 2014
Beacham Center specializes in helping to keep older adults healthier
Steve Zabicki feels fortunate to have his health, his son Steven and many fond memories of traveling the world doing missionary work with the Serra Foundation. He, Steven, and his late wife even met Mother Teresa during a trip to India in 1995 (see framed picture in foreground). Mr. Zabicki hopes to have many more years of traveling with Steven.
Did you know that Johns Hopkins Bayview is home to one of the top-ranked geriatric programs in the United States? A part of this exceptional care is the Beacham Center for Geriatric Medicine. At the Center, adults 65 and older receive primary care and consultation services in an environment that understands the often complex medical needs of older adults.
This care is provided by geriatricians, doctors who are specially trained to address the unique health concerns of older adults and to know the difference between normal signs of aging and those indicating a more serious problem.
Knowing the Older Adult
It has been proven that illness in an elderly person is different from illness in a younger person. For example, many older adults take numerous medications for an array of medical conditions. An older body may process medications differently than a younger one. Geriatricians are skilled at identifying side effects and drug interactions in older adults. Additionally, they recognize that although the loss of a little cognitive ability is an inevitable part of aging, certain symptoms may indicate common serious conditions such as depression or Alzheimer’s disease. They also know the importance of maintaining independent living and social engagement, and work closely with specialists, physical therapists and other consulting providers to arrange the best and most appropriate care for patients and their caregivers.
Understanding Our Patients
“Our patients have many special medical needs, from dealing with the natural aging process to managing multiple medical problems,” says Jeremy Barron, M.D., medical director of the Beacham Center. “Geriatricians have a deeper understanding of how these issues might affect a patient’s ability to function day-to-day and how the conditions should be treated. We want the best for our patients and for their families.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a geriatrician, call 410-550-0925.
A Patient’s Perspective On the Award-Winning Care Offered to Older Adults
Steve Zabicki, 86, a resident of Pikesville, Maryland, has been a patient at the Beacham Center for more than a decade. Here, he shares his experience.
“About 10 years ago, my wife was having some health problems. Our primary care doctor diagnosed her with Alzheimer’s disease. It was something that I didn’t want to believe or accept, so I decided to get a second opinion. That’s how we began coming to the Beacham Center.
The physician we saw was Dr. Jeremy Barron. He was never in a hurry to move on to the next patient. He spent a lot of time learning about our history, listening to our concerns and making us feel like he genuinely cared. We were so impressed with him that we continued to see him for our primary care.
While I was blessed with good health, my wife unfortunately was not. Not long after our first appointment at the Beacham Center, a neurologist confirmed that she did have Alzheimer’s disease. She passed away six years ago from Lewy body dementia.
I guess you could say that I’m pretty lucky because I don’t have the same health problems as many people my age. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world with son, Steven, doing missionary work with the Serra Foundation, and even met Mother Teresa during a trip to India. I always tell Dr. Barron that I’m going to keep on traveling as long as I’m healthy!
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. This took me by surprise since I work out three times a week and try to eat balanced meals. Dr. Barron knew that I was afraid my traveling days were over. He reassured me that we would get my blood pressure under control and that I would be able to continue my active lifestyle.
I check in at the Beacham Center at least once a year, or whenever I have a problem or concern. Dr. Barron always gets back to me right away. I know a lot of my issues are because I’m getting older, but the services and care at the Beacham Center have helped me maintain my independence. Because of Dr. Barron and the team, I’ll be able to fill my passport with stamps for years to come.”