Geriatric Clinic designed to meet growing need in health care

Geriatric medicine, or gerontology, focuses on the health and wellness of patients aged 65 years and older. As people age, they develop specialized medical needs. Hearing loss and impaired vision are common complaints. Other health concerns may include difficulty walking or moving, instability or falling risk, incontinence, and moderate to severe memory loss. A gerontologist is a doctor specially trained to evaluate, diagnose and treat these conditions.

Dr. Noel Ballentine, who leads the Penn State Hershey Geriatric Clinic at 35 Hope Drive, has a passion for providing the best care to senior citizens. Ballentine is board certified in geriatrics and internal medicine with more than 30 years of research and experience in these fields. He has developed and expanded the geriatric medicine programs offered by Penn State Hershey, through the creation of new educational offerings, geriatric councils, and Grand Rounds. He is currently working on establishing a geriatric specialty program with Penn State College of Medicine.

In addition to Ballentine’s practice with Penn State Hershey Medical Center, he has written and published articles on the medical and social issues facing seniors. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Task Force for Elder Mistreatment and Fraud and has presented to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Attorney General’s Task Force on Domestic Violence. Ballentine’s current work involves an initiative called The Center for Adaptive Aging in Place, which is focused on helping seniors be able to live longer, independently at home.

Ballentine is joined in the geriatric clinic by residents who assist with him with evaluations and learn the special needs of the patients. Evaluations performed in clinic include: functional status, screening for cognitive issues and depression , sensory assessment, nutrition, medications, social and financial status, and environmental hazards and safety.

Patients aged 65 and older is the fastest growing demographic in health care today. The geriatric clinic is poised to meet these new challenges and provide opportunities to help patients live healthier lives. Patients may be seen for consultations and evaluations even if their primary care provider practices within Penn State Hershey Medical Group or is an outside provider. Most insurance plans are accepted.

For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 717-531-5160. Geriatric Clinic appointments are available on Tuesday afternoons and upon request.

Last Updated March 13, 2014