Older adults living with serious illness often find themselves in an unending cycle of health crises that lead from home to hospital to rehab and back home again. It also can be difficult for them to get to their many appointments and manage their care alone.
Gilchrist’s Elder Medical Care (EMC) program brings care to the homes of chronically ill patients who are unable to or have difficulty leaving, ensuring they receive the care they need, when and where they need it.
“I have chronic lymphedema and other health issues that limit my mobility,” Pat Richardson said. “Before I began the Elder Medical Care program, I was in and out of hospitals, ERs and rehabilitation. I had so many appointments—I had to get bloodwork, sonograms and physical therapy. Trying to get to my appointments was tedious and exhausting.
“When my doctor suggested the program, at first, I thought he was brushing me off because I was a challenging patient. But it was one of the best things he could have done for me. Gilchrist makes care readily available by coming to my home.”
Gilchrist’s team of physicians, nurse practitioners, and social workers are experts in providing coordinated geriatric care and guidance to improve quality of life. As a result, the team ensures those who would otherwise fall through the cracks of the healthcare system receive the care and attention they need.
“When Jennifer (Castello, CRNP) visits, she does a total assessment, checks to see how everything’s going and asks about any problems. She takes her time and is very thorough. She helps guide me in taking care of myself the best I can. She spends extra time with me to just talk,” Richardson said.
“In addition to medical care, volunteers bring me food, which is helpful when you have limited mobility. It’s nice to have someone help you without having to ask.”
Through established partnerships with nonprofits and community organizations, including Live Chair Health and Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Services, Gilchrist patients have access to fresh groceries, fitness programs, legal and insurance help, mental health services, wellness programs and more.
Though Gilchrist has great brand recognition in Maryland, people often assume services provided revolve only around hospice. But it’s so much more. Richardson was intent on sharing her story so others would know options are available for them, too.
“If other seniors were aware of this program, it could help them as well,” Richardson said. “For anybody that needs a boost of hope or thinks they have to settle, it’s not so. Having the right medical team working with you makes such a difference.”
To learn more about Gilchrist’s Elder Medical Care program, visit www.gbmc.org/baltimorecity.