The Geriatric Education Center of Michigan

The Northern Lower Michigan team-age strong, live long!

Caring for Elders has always been and continues to be a priority of Michigan Tribal Nations.  According to Indian Country, elders are seen as the keepers of the history, people who are wise and deserve respect by their community for all the experiences they have had during their life time. 

According to the Geriatric Education Center of Michigan (GECM), the number of older patients with more complex health needs is increasing dramatically, without an adequate number of health care providers trained in geriatric care.  This aging population is going to have more racial and ethnic diversity along with more education and chronic disease, widely dispersed families, and increased longevity making their needs much different than previous generations.  As a result the Northern Lower Michigan team has dedicated their efforts to working with Michigan Tribal Nations to increase their access to cutting edge geriatric education. 

The GECM has developed 26 modules which are available for the teams to coordinate programs based on the expressed needs of that particular tribal nation and community.  According to Michigan State University Extension, the Northern Lower Michigan GECM team and the teams across the state are available to provide education programs in Michigan Tribal Nations in the areas of, but not limited to:

  • Functional assessment- importance of cognitive, physical, psychosocial and spiritual function in the quality of life of the older adult
  • Health literacy- for patients to obtain, process, understand health information and services
  • Substance abuse and mental health Issues in older adults- understand the issues associated with preventing substance abuse problems in older adults
  • Dementia cognitive screening- train participants on how to conduct screen for dementia, delirium and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Oral health in older adults- explain why oral health is important for the well-being of the elderly

There are many educational resources which are focused on gerontology, available for the health care professionals in Michigan Tribal Nations.  To learn more about the Health and Nutrition Institute, visit MSU Extension.

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