LinkAges is a new program at Upstate Medical University's College of Medicine intended to improve geriatric care by advancing student-patient relationships.
LinkAges brings together senior citizens and first-, second- and third-year medical students, giving students hands on, person-to-person experience in geriatric care years earlier than they previously received.
First-year students begin their geriatric experience by interacting with healthy older adults at a variety of senior center sites in the community. They take health histories, give flu shots and become more familiar with issues regarding an aging but generally healthy population.
Second-year students visit patients who live at home and are mobile but may be more frail than their peers who are out enjoying what senior centers have to offer.
The settings for third-year students are a senior housing facility and skilled nursing home, where they study and experience firsthand various geriatric syndromes and conditions which do not fall within the purview of traditional medical education.Such topics include: