Crozer-Keystone Geriatric Resource Center Opens at Springfield Hospital
Pictured is the Geriatric Resource Center.
Springfield, PA- Months of planning and organizing have finally paid off. The Geriatric Resource Center at Springfield Hospital is now open and fully functional to the public, making this center the first of its kind for Crozer-Keystone Health System.
The focus behind the resource center is to give older adults and their caregivers access to information on a variety of different health-related topics that best serves their interest. It is user-friendly and easily accessible for everyone. A person can visit the resource center and take a pamphlet that may cater to the information they are looking for.
The information provided at the resource center includes topics such as keys to finding the right retirement or long-term care community in Delaware County and surrounding counties, tips on long distance caregiving, how to choose a doctor, and mourning the death of a spouse. The center also has information on preparing for surgery, diseases like diabetes in the elderly, and dealing with depression. The resource center also has applications for PACE and PACENET as well as the Pennsylvania Low Income Energy Assistance Program.
The desk in front of the resource center is monitored from Monday through Friday by hospital volunteers from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., but anyone can access information during all hospital hours. The Geriatric Resource Center is located on the first floor of the main hospital near the front entrance.
A very enthusiastic Barbara Alexis Looby, administrative director of Senior Health Services for Crozer-Keystone Health System, recognized that Springfield was at the center of the county with a large aging population. She believed that Springfield Hospital, being in the center of the county, would be a fabulous place to host the first resource center. Looby states that it was not difficult to gain the support of Gwen Smith, president of Springfield Hospital, who immediately embraced the idea.
“This center has been well-received by our community, and that makes it a success,” Smith says. “It is amazing how people have gravitated to the area but I am not surprised. Everyone has put a lot of effort into this project so it is only right that it gets the kind of attention it has gotten so far.”
Looby says that she is very proud of the center and the breadth of information that it has to offer. She stresses that if the resource center doesn’t have the information a person is looking for, patients and families are encouraged to inform the volunteer at the front desk or contact Senior Health Services and they will research and access the requested information.
Looby adds that Janet Kalup, director of Volunteer Services at Springfield Hospital, played an important role in the development of the project and continues to do so by making sure her volunteers at the desk are well-informed on how to greet visitors of the center, helping them find any information they may be looking for. “The icing on the cake for us is that our volunteers are able to give something to this center,” Kalup says. “They get to help manage and organize information at the center. The volunteers say that their greatest contribution to this project is the chance to help educate the community.” The volunteers are a key component to the center running as smoothly as it does.
Of course, every project has its costs, but fortunately for Crozer-Keystone, the good people at the Friends of Springfield Foundation stepped in. Realizing that their foundation and Springfield Hospital had the same intentions regarding helping the community, they decided that they would provide the funding for the new resource center.
“The thought of making this idea into a reality involves a team approach,” Looby says. “If you don’t have a group of people supporting the process, then the idea will just stay an idea and a service like this would have never been realized.”
My hope is that may people will see the value in such a resource center and the idea can be replicated at a sister hospital of ours,” Looby says. “However, at this time we will focus on providing the most current information and continue to be responsive to the needs of our aging community. We view the resource center as a place to further educate the children of aging parents, older adults and their caregivers.”