Skip Navigation

Geriatric Care

The health of older adults is one of the most dynamic challenges facing the modern health care system. As we age, changes in the body necessitate new approaches to care, which means understanding and teaching geriatrics as a specialized discipline.

Yet despite this, only 2% of practicing physicians in the United States qualify as geriatricians, and more than half of all medical and nursing schools do not have a structured geriatric curriculum.

Geriatric Care

At UTHealth, we have developed an innovative and truly interdisciplinary focus on aging-related care, education, research, and community outreach, which combines expertise from across all six of our schools.

Our interprofessional education program provides geriatric and gerontology training to clinicians including nurses and social workers, and our medical students gain an understanding of geriatrics as a unique discipline. This holistic approach ensures that we help fill the growing need for trained geriatricians and geriatric specialists, and that older adults benefit from advances in technology and care.

  • We are developing smart home technologies, such as pill bottles that register when opened to monitor medication adherence, doors that log when opened to ensure regular eating and to evaluate for social isolation, and wheeled robots with communication and video feeds to facilitate virtual visits from clinicians, family, and caregivers.
  • We are expanding and improving telehealth to make care more accessible to seniors, especially in light of COVID-19.
  • We are tailoring elder care to the needs and preferences of specific age groups through the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative, a nationwide program operated by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to improve health care for older adults.
  • We are reducing elder mistreatment by connecting older adults and family members to resources and support through the Texas Elder Abuse and Mistreatment Institute: the first and longest standing academic medical school and Adult Protective Services partnership in the United States, which includes nationally renowned experts in elder abuse clinical assessments, service delivery, and research.

The challenges that come with treating and caring for older adults are unique, and they require equally unique attention. Your generosity to Many Faces. One Mission. can help us define what it means to live happily and healthily as an older adult in Texas and beyond.

  • "Just as medicine recognizes the unique needs of pediatric patients, we believe older adults deserve the same kind of specialized attention. We are dedicated to their lives, their futures, and the ongoing progress of geriatric medicine."

    Holly M. Holmes, MD

    Joan and Stanford Alexander Chair in Gerontology

    Associate Professor and Director, Joan and Stanford Alexander Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine

    Department of Internal Medicine

    McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

  • Education

    We focus on continued education and outreach to promote healthier, more active lifestyles. Many of the acute concerns that affect older adults can be prevented or mitigated by healthy lifestyle choices, especially earlier in life. The more work we can do in this regard, particularly for underserved populations, the more lives we save over the long-term.

    Additionally, we offer fellowship opportunities and research funding for talented physicians to advance the knowledge and practice of geriatric medicine.

  • Research

    Our researchers are working to mitigate the risk for falls and to prevent unnecessary polypharmacy, or the prescribing of multiple medications that can potentially interact in a harmful manner. Additionally, we are connecting medical records across providers to help provide a continuum of care, avoid test and procedure duplication, and promote more effective care overall. We are also pursuing advanced stroke prevention and treatment strategies to help minimize stroke risk while developing methods to restore function and independence in survivors.