Healthy Aging Resources

Most of us are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. Even so, as we age the likelihood of developing one or more geriatric syndromes increases. These syndromes may limit independence and the ability to carry out basic activities.

The Center for Successful Aging at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital is dedicated to addressing the unique needs of people experiencing age-related conditions and their caregivers. Our expert team of doctors, nurses, and therapists is able to provide comprehensive and coordinated patient care. This team approach allows us to provider better care and resources to our aging patients and their caregivers.

The entire care team works together to ensure consistent care for our patients. If patients require specialty treatment, our geriatricians will coordinate treatment and recovery plans with specialists, other caregivers, and the patient’s primary care physician, as well as the patient and patient’s family.

About The Center for Successful Aging

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
Russell Morgan Bldg., Suite 502
5601 Loch Raven Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21239

Phone: 443-444-4720

Conditions We Treat and Patient Resources

The geriatrics healthcare providers at the Center for Successful Aging specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of many age-related conditions including:

  • Dementia and memory concerns 
  • Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders

In addition, care coordinators will help patients and their families ensure they are connected with resources, education, and support. Resources available to our patients include:

What is a Life Plan?

Each patient at the Center for Successful Aging will receive an individualized life plan. During the first visit, patients will receive a thorough health assessment to identify the patient’s medical history, functional issues, and risk potential for other conditions. The caregiver’s needs are also evaluated during at this time.

Based on the assessment, our team will develop a life plan designed to help patients and their caregivers manage medical conditions and encourage good health habits for physical, mental, and emotional health.

Download and learn more about our Life Plan Questionnaire.

Resources for Caregivers

At the Center for Successful Aging, we provide a multidisciplinary approach to both patients and their caregivers. Caring for an aging adult can be difficult on caregivers. Our team is here to provide support and encouragement as well as educational resources. Learn more about the resources provided for caregivers:

Watch Dr. Hennawi discuss available resources for caregivers and how to improve healthcare for older adults.

Call Us Today

To find a geriatrician, call:

Location Information

Center for Successful Aging
MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
Russell Morgan Bldg., Suite 502
5601 Loch Raven Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21239

Frequently Asked Questions

Arthritis, Back and Joint Pain

  1. What gels or ointments help with pain caused by arthritis?
    1. To treat arthritis pain, there are many over-the-counter products to choose from, such as Icy Hot, Capsaicion ointment and Zostrix. As always, check with your local pharmacist to find the best options for you.
  2. Why is arthritis so painful during the fall or during the change of seasons?
    1. With the change in seasons, there's often a change in barometric pressure, and along with that, usually comes joint pain. To decrease the pain, it's helpful to stay physically active. You could try arthritis aquatics classes. The Arthritis Foundation has listings for classes that are held locally. Remember that the less you move, the stiffer you get.
  3. What causes rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups and why are they so painful?
    1. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune, systemic inflammatory disease, meaning that your entire body and all of its systems, is being attacked by itself. Simply put, there's a war going on inside your body, causing most of the pain. The causes of RA are unknown, but heredity, age and gender play a big role among many other things. For more information, it is best to speak with your rheumatologist.
  4. What can I do to relieve arthritis pain in my legs and back?
    1. Arthritis aquatics classes would be wonderful for relieving the pain. The warmth and buoyancy of the water are great for the joints. This is a great way to stay active, increase your range of motion and flexibility, which are very important with arthritis. And as an added benefit, you feel no pain in the water.
  5. What are good ways to relieve back pain?
    1. To relieve back pain, a few good starting points include regular exercise (usually recommended by a physical therapist), stretching, stress management and quitting smoking, if you’re a smoker. Also, maintaining a healthy diet and weight are best for your back any time of the year. Aquatic therapy is ideal for a painful back because of the warmth and buoyancy of the water. It’s so easy to increase your flexibility and range of motion and stay active in this type of environment. Local YMCAs and Kid’s First Swim are two places that offer arthritis aquatics classes. The Arthritis Foundation has a complete listing of these classes as well.

Blood Pressure

  1. What are safe medications for blood pressure?
    1. We're not sure if there is one blood pressure medication that is safer than another. It all depends on one's age and comorbid conditions, which are chronic conditions such as high cholesterol, heart disease or diabetes. To pinpoint the best medication, we recommend seeing your primary care doctor.

High Cholesterol

  1. What can I do to get my cholesterol to a normal level?
    1. Generally speaking, exercise and a healthy diet are great ways to lower cholesterol. Be sure to lower your intake of fried or fatty foods and try to exercise at least three times a week.

Kidney Conditions

  1. What causes uric acid?
    1. Uric acid is created when you eat certain foods, such as liver, anchovies and dried beans. If you’re prone to having high amounts of uric acid, you should avoid or limit those foods. Too much uric acid can lead to gout, which can be painful. For further guidance, please consult your primary care doctor.

Memory Loss

  1. How normal is memory loss for those 65 years of age and older? How can memory loss be measured or determined?
    1. As we age, we experience some memory lapses, but they should not be progressive over time or impact our daily function. Memory can be tested at your doctor's office through standardized testing tools. Consider completing this free memory assessment* with your primary care physician to find out if you should see a geriatric specialist. 

*Assessment used with permission of the author, S. Borson.

Movement, Gait and Balance

  1. My balance is really off…is there anything I can do about it?
    1. Due to coordination, changes in feet, hearing loss, and equilibrium older people lose their sure-footedness as they age. Although, it is always wise to see your doctor to make sure there are no heart problems, vertigo or side effects from medications causing the imbalance. But, YES there are things you can do to improve your balance, just like you can improve your endurance and muscle strength. It’s called exercise. Exercises, in as little as five minutes a day can improve your balance. Standing on one foot while holding on to a chair or railing, and increasing length of time balancing really helps. Tai chi is also a wonderful way to improve your balance, coordination, breathing, bone density, stress level and range of motion. This moving, meditative martial art is a great way to be active, but in a slow moving, peaceful way that’s good to your body and to meet like-minded people. Did you know that one out of every three people over 65 years of age fall at least once per year? This could be devastating, so improving your balance is a great way to prevent this from happening.
  2. Is arthritis a normal part of aging and what can I do about it?
    1. Arthritis includes over 100 different types of diseases, but the most prevalent is osteoarthritis where the cartilage begins to wear away causing pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. But no, although many people get arthritis after the age of 50, it’s not a normal part of aging. Women get this 3:1 more than men after 50 and research links this to women becoming overweight and inactive. There are lots of things you can do and the first step is to get informed by attending our Get Going with Arthritis Seminars. Here you’ll learn about the disease and what to expect in its stages, what doctors to see, how to prevent it, risk factors, how to deal with the pain and when you know it’s time for joint replacement surgery. Call 443-444-4100.
  3. I’ve been told that my arthritic knee/hip is really bad and I need a replacement, but I’m scared and don’t know what to do?
    1. Knowing when to have joint replacement surgery can really be uncertain. Let your pain and lifestyle be your guide. If pain consumes a lot of your day, gives rise to loss of mobility and greatly decreases the quality of your life, then it may be time to consider surgery. Does it affect your sleep; do you feel older than you are; are you grumpy because you just can’t do the things you love to do like bowl, dance, golf, or travel? These are all things to consider as well as choosing the right doctor and hospital to have your surgery. Make sure your doctors have done hundreds of these surgeries and the hospital is very versed at caring for joint replacement patients.
  4. What exercises can I do with arthritis and osteoporosis that are gentle yet helpful to my body?
    1. Tai chi is a wonderfully gentle way to stay active, improve your balance, coordination and range of motion without a lot of impact on your joints. Tai chi will also improve your bone density because it is a weight-bearing form of activity. The gentle motions of the form will reduce stress and improve breathing too. Call 443-444-4100 to register.