Senior Services

Senior Services


“Aging gracefully, in place” is everyone’s goal. Fortunately, St. Luke’s University Health Network offers many convenient programs to help us accomplish that. Here’s a quick look at three of them. 

The Center for Positive Aging

Located at the St. Luke’s North in Bethlehem, the Center offers several options to address physical, emotional, and social well-being issues related to aging.

“Many of our patients are self-referring,” says Patricia Strupp, MSW. “Others are referred by a primary-care physician, or by family members.”

The assessment process begins with a thorough evaluation. A physical exam, review of medications, psychological testing, and diagnostics are performed as a function of the individual’s needs. Screenings are done to evaluate depression and memory loss. A comprehensive review of current medication use is completed to assess utilization, side effects, and potential drug interactions. Simple diagnostic tests may include lab studies, x-rays, and imaging.

“The process ends with a meeting between patient, caregiver, and the St. Luke’s team,” Strupp concludes. During the meeting, attendees discuss the team’s findings and recommendations for action or follow-up. A full medical report is sent to the family physician.

Caregiving can be physically and emotionally draining, but St. Luke’s Caregiver Support Group offers relief. Its regularly scheduled meetings provide a welcome mix of emotional, educational and social support to help each other solve problems, as well as share stories and resources.  Knowing that you’re not alone in your struggles contributes to maintaining personal, physical and emotional health while providing care for loved ones.

The Caregiver Support Group meets on the 4th Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s North, 153 Brodhead Road, Bethlehem.

Senior Emergency room

“Medical emergencies are stressful for everyone, and can be especially so for seniors,” says Carrie Fleckenstein, Sr. Network Director, Senior Care Service. St. Luke’s Bethlehem Campus is the only hospital in the Valley with a Senior Emergency Room focusing on the needs of patients 75 and older. This program is a team approach to meet the needs of older adults.

St. Luke’s has ER nurses with specialized geriatric training who evaluate patients

75 and older with a risk assessment screening. The results of the risk assessment help the treatment team determine next steps such as physical therapy consults for fall risk, pharmacy for medication assessment, and comprehensive geriatric consults. Case management work with the patients and their caregivers to schedule follow up appointments and provide other recommendations and resources.

Senior-Friendly Meals

Most of us remember mealtime tables surrounded by family members, with lots of interaction and stimulation.

But for seniors, mealtime is often experienced in solitude.

St. Luke’s lets seniors break out of that lonely situation with its ongoing Older Adult Meal Program. Offered at the Anderson, Monroe and Warren campuses, it’s a simple way to enjoy nutritious food at much lower prices while catching up with old friends (and making some new ones).

“These events are open to the entire community, not just hospital patients and visitors,” Fleckenstein says. “All meals are prepared fresh daily, and provide some really healthful eating choices.”

For $3.99, patrons aged 65+ get an entrée, salad, side dish, vegetable, dessert, and a 12-ounce drink. “You can’t get a meal like this anywhere for $3.99,” she says. “You couldn’t even make the meal yourself for that price!”

Many participants go every day, forming their own little communities. It’s a friendly gathering place, where they can socialize, meet new people, sometimes even hear a guest speaker.

“All meals are prepared fresh daily”

The Older Adult Meal Program is offered from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays at the Anderson and Warren campuses, and 7 days a week at Monroe Campus.

For more information about any of these programs, call 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537).

Also available at St. Luke’s Center for Positive Aging, seniors or caregivers of seniors may choose a Mindstreams® Cognitive Health Assessment.

This technology provides unbiased, standardized performance testing of an individual’s memory, executive function, visual-spatial perception, verbal function, attention, information processing speed, and motor skills.

Ultimately, these convenient tests are available and used to evaluate a patient’s cognitive health and identify deficits early on. The benefit enables patients and caregivers to develop an appropriate course of treatment before a potential medical issue or disease progresses.

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