Healthy aging: What can you do to help your loved ones?

Learn about why and how to access specialized geriatric services in Alberta at the Festival of Health.

Shelby Soke - 16 May 2018

Taking care of an aging loved one can be a difficult journey. Many people are not aware that there are specialized health-care services available for the elderly that can optimize their health and quality of life.

Much like how a pediatrician specializes in the care of children, physicians with specialized training in the care of the elderly are experts in the needs of aging patients.

Lesley Charles, program director of Division of the Care of the Elderly at the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, encourages caregivers or family members of a senior who has experienced falls, cognitive or physical decline to get a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment. In Alberta, patients can get a referral from a family physician or homecare.

A Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment covers a full medical history and physical, geriatric giants (immobility, instability, incontinence and impaired intellect/memory), social, functional, cognitive history and exam. The assessment results in a personalized management plan for all issues identified. The whole process takes about two to three hours.

"Geriatric services are important in offering outpatient and inpatient consult as well as rehabilitation and supportive living consult to optimize seniors' health and keep them functioning in their environment," said Charles.

The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry has one of the most successful Care of the Elderly training programs in Canada. The program was established in 1993. There have been 61 graduates of the program, most of them currently providing services in Alberta.

Learn more about specialized care for the elderly at the Festival of Health on May 26.

The Festival of Health

Register here for your free ticket

Edmonton Clinic Health Academy 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

North Campus, University of Alberta

Barbecue and Entertainment
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Rapid Fire Presentations and Ask The Experts: Q & A Session
1 - 2:30 p.m.

Info Sessions and Tours
3 - 5 p.m.

More information available at