Partnership with AARP enhances DMC services to older adults

May 4, 2017

Father and DaughterThe Detroit Medical Center specializes in caring for older adults. AARP Michigan provides information and advocacy for older adults. Their partnership was a no-brainer from the start. But it got personal fast for AARP’s Lisa Whitmore Davis when her 83-year-old father was admitted to Detroit Receiving Hospital.

Whitmore Davis became a full-time caregiver for her father last summer and had to move him from a distant hospital into Detroit Receiving Hospital. He was admitted into DRH’s senior ER, featuring quiet, private rooms, specialized staff and beds that treat aging bones and skin tenderly.

“We’d been in a lot of the regular ERs and it’s not a pleasant experience,” Whitmore Davis said. “The senior ER calmed him down; made him more relaxed. It’s a calmer, more peaceful environment. All the staff have the right bedside manner to dealing with older adults.”

Whitmore Davis, AARP’s associate state director for community engagement in Michigan, already was leading her organization’s partnership with the medical center. They provide resources to the River Walkers summer fitness series and will offer training for caregivers at both Detroit Receiving Hospital and Sinai Grace Hospital.

“AARP Michigan has provided this important series and I’ve spoke at our caregiving series for three years now,” Whitmore Davis said. “Now I’m in it, taking care of my dad. I’m teaching it and living it. It’s a whole different understanding."

"Caregivers are there visiting their loved ones. Where better to get support?” Whitmore Davis asked.

The caregiver series serves people of all ages. Typical classes are aimed at helping caregivers balance their day jobs and caregiving responsibilities, maintain their emotional and mental health, manage their finances and understand the needs of their loved ones. Class dates and topics include:

Sinai Grace Location

  • May 6, 2017 - Manage Your Money
  • June 3, 2017 - Jump start your health

Harper-Hutzel Location

  • July 8, 2017 - Caring for Veterans
  • August 5, 2017 - Ask the Doctor
  • September 9, 2017 - Life realignment and managing grief/loss

Classes offered at Sinai Grace will be in their Auditorium and classes held at DMC Harper University Hospital will be in the Kresge Auditorium located on the 2nd floor. Refreshments and free parking will be provided available.

In addition to supporting caregivers, AARP also promotes health and wellness for older adults in metro Detroit by supporting the DMC’s summer River Walkers events. Twice a week from June through August people meet to walk along the Detroit riverfront for an hour then learn from DMC experts.  In 2016, AARP hosted a resource station in the gathering area for the walkers and provided fraud prevention wallets to participants.

“We began our partnership with the Detroit Medical Center two years ago and every year it gets better,” Whitmore Davis said. “We help people visualize real possibilities for their lives and provide support to achieve them. The Detroit Medical Center and AARP Michigan – two great institutions coming together to improve the overall health of older adults in southeastern Michigan.”

For more information on becoming a DMC community partner, call 313-966-4012.

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