Dec 22, 2019 Comprehensive Elder Care

The geriatric health center offers an array of services for seniors and their families.

When 87-year-old David Breslin had trouble breathing recently, he saw Sana Riaz, MD, MBBS, the newest geriatrician at the Geriatric Health Center at Monmouth Medical Center (MMC). “She’s always friendly and professional,” says David, an Ocean Township resident who has been a patient of the Center for several years.

Dr. Riaz ordered several tests and, when she determined that his symptoms were caused by a flare-up of congestive heart failure, she told David to go to the Emergency Department. Once he arrived, she informed the staff about his condition and helped to coordinate his care. Dr. Riaz started working at the Center in April 2019. “I’ve always been passionate about caring for the elderly,” she says. Dr. Riaz chose to specialize in geriatrics as a result of the close relationship she enjoyed with her grandparents as a child.

“The average age of our patients is 80, and their goals are different from those of younger patients,” she says. “I always discuss a patient’s goals with him or her.” Geriatricians benefit older patients because they have training in age-related physiological changes, falls, hearing loss and dementia. “Primary care physicians do an excellent job, but they can only screen for so much in 15-minute appointments,” says Dr. Riaz. “Our appointments are often 30 minutes or longer.”

A team approach

The Geriatric Health Center is the cornerstone of MMC’s Anna Greenwall Geriatric Program, which is known for its expertise in coordinating medical and social services for older adults and their families. Staffed by three geriatricians, a nurse practitioner, social workers and a nutritionist, the Center treats patients 65 and older. They may suffer from multiple medical conditions, mobility problems, memory loss, confusion, depression, behavioral changes and frailty.

The Center helps patients manage their medications and provides a support group for caregivers of dementia patients. “We take a team-based approach,” says Dr. Riaz. “We know every patient and his or her family dynamic because we talk to family members, too.” David benefited from Dr. Riaz’s expertise. Today, he’s participating in outpatient cardiac rehabilitation and is doing well. “The Center is wonderful,” he says. “The staff members always smile and remind me that if I have any questions, I should come right in.”

To make an appointment or learn more about the services offered through the Anna Greenwall Geriatric Program, call: 732.923.7550