I am a family physician who treats senior patients in Houston. I have seen first-hand how many of these individuals not only struggle with their physical health, but also with outside factors that impact their overall wellbeing, such as housing, access to nutritious food and transportation.
More than one-out-of-four Houstonians who is aged 65+ lives alone, which increases risk for social isolation, lack of access to support services and insufficient assistance in emergencies, such as last year’s devastating winter storms and power crisis. It’s critical that these seniors, especially those living in areas historically underserved by the medical community, engage in consistent primary care for their overall physical and mental well-being.
In response to the need for accessible and comprehensive, primary senior care, my organization, CenterWell Senior Primary Care, recently opened its 13th center in the Houston area, in One Emancipation Center. We are the first business to open in the Center, part of a neighborhood revitalization effort to address the interconnectedness of health, education, food, housing and other social determinants of health.
It’s particularly meaningful to be launching the Center with the opening of a facility dedicated to seniors’ health, particularly one that implements a “whole-person” approach, led by a physician and nurse practitioner and with access to social workers, behavioral health specialists, and pharmacists.
The most rewarding part of my job is the ability to spend meaningful one-on-one time with my patients, usually about 45 minutes each visit, compared to the 17 minutes doctors commonly have with their patients. This extra time allows me to get to know my patients and build relationships with them, fostering the trust necessary for open communication, and ultimately provide more comprehensive, personalized care.
Thank you, Houston, for the warm welcome and for trusting us with privilege of taking care of your seniors.