MD Link: Partnering Physicians with Community Organizations
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MD Link: Partnering Physicians with Community Organizations

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January 1, 2005

Among the most important community resources for older adults and their families are senior centers, area agencies on aging, day service centers, multi-purpose social service organizations, faith-based organizations, and housing programs. The programs and services they offer older adults include physical activity classes, education programs, support groups, congregate meals, in-home services, and care management. Many of these agencies, referred to in this toolkit as community-based organizations (CBOs), have programs in place that address common geriatric problems including increased risk of falling, managing multiple chronic conditions, combating isolation, and loss of physical mobility. These CBOs are well-positioned to play an important complementary role in optimizing care delivery to older adults, yet many physicians do not know how helpful these organizations can be.

The purpose of this toolkit is to guide a physician champion in educating his/her colleagues about the benefits and practicalities of collaborating with community-based organizations that serve older adults. Thus, the toolkit is designed to help a physician champion learn more about community organizations and share what s/he knows with others. It is not a how-to guide for building linkages between physicians and local organizations; however, it does include some suggestions for fostering such linkages.

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