Senior Health

Providence Portland Medical Center

Health care needs change as people age. Providence provides whole-person, tailored care for all patients and supports their families throughout their health journey.
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Caring for Older Adults


Each day in Oregon, 900 older adults are seen by a Providence primary care provider, 300 seek emergency medical care at a Providence facility, and 75 are admitted to a Providence hospital. Most of these 900 patients will receive care from clinicians who have no specialized training in treating patients over the age of 65. In fact, fewer than 2% are likely be seen by a geriatrician.

The team at Providence Senior Health aims to change that. Together, we can improve care for older adults by providing customized, specialized care to meet the need of each patient and their family. 

Providence Senior Health provides a variety of programs for older patients and their families: 

  • Age-friendly health care
  • Geriatric mini-fellowships and geriatric education to train providers
  • Programs to reduce risk of falls
  • Specialized care for patients with dementia

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Our Impact

Providence Senior Health weaves together our integrated health system with our community partners to provide a simple, accessible path to health care for every person. Using creative ways to partner with older adults and their families, we are able to deliver health care tailored for each person’s specific needs.

Age-Friendly Health Systems
Led by Providence geriatrician Marian Hodges, M.D., MPH, the Senior Health team is a pioneer in the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement, an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Our eight-member Senior Health team collaborates with teams across Providence to design clinical care pathways, provide education, and develop care strategies grounded in the 4Ms of Age-Friendly care: mobility, mentation, medication and what matters.
Fall risk management program
Falls are the leading cause of injury and death among seniors, and Oregon has one of the highest rates of falls among people over 65. Providence Senior Health is working diligently to address this crisis. Your support will allow us to expand our community classes, home safety assessments, consults between geriatric experts and primary care providers, and programs to help screen and address fall risks.
Geriatric mini-fellowships and geriatric education
Although the need is great, few providers specialize in geriatrics. Providence Oregon has only four geriatricians or geriatric nurse practitioners to serve more than 80,000 older patients. Providence Senior Health has created a geriatric mini-fellowship program for primary care providers. Each year six to eight clinicians receive four weeks of intensive training on caring for older patients. They return to their clinics to better care for their older patients and also help teach others on their teams. Your support can help expand this training and other geriatric education programs so that nurses, pharmacists, other clinical caregivers and more primary care providers can attend each year.
Dementia care pathway
More than 5 million Americans live with dementia, and yet only half are diagnosed by a clinician. A timely diagnosis of dementia can greatly improve a patient’s quality of life and provide significant relief for families. Providence’s new Dementia Care Pathway will help providers diagnose and treat dementia sooner. Your support will allow us to continue and expand our community classes, home safety assessments, and consults between geriatric experts and primary care providers. Your support can help expand dementia care training and other geriatric education programs for nurses, pharmacists, clinical caregivers and primary care providers.