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Geriatric Medicine Patient Story: Meet Nan Cavalier

Our patient stories profile patients who have been treated by our geriatric experts and how such compassionate care has affected their and their loved ones lives.

Note: These patients' treatment and results may not be representative of all similar cases.

“A Team You Can Trust”

For more than two decades, Nan Cavalier has helped care for her ailing husband, Gene, age 74. His complicated medical condition, which includes kidney failure and adrenal insufficiency, requires care by seven specialists and a daily regimen of more than two-dozen medications. His illness can worsen quickly, requiring emergency treatment.

Last year, the Belle Vernon couple began going to Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, where they received care at the hospital’s emergency department by staff specially trained to treat older patients. In the past year, Gene has made four trips to Magee’s emergency department, while Nan made one trip for treatment of diverticulitis.

“It’s a lot less traumatic going to Magee,” says Nan, 66. “Gene used to resist going to the emergency department. Now, he doesn’t have as much anxiety. It’s calmer there and less hectic.”

Nan praises Magee for providing comprehensive care that focuses on older adults. Most important, she says, is the coordinated approach by their geriatrician with Magee’s geriatric specialists who include her as a valued member of the care team.

“They recognize that I have a great understanding. They listen and respect us as older adults,” says Nan. “They look at the whole picture and provide a compassionate, caring atmosphere that includes family members.”

After a recent hospital stay, Nan sent a note to one of the certified nurse practitioner at Magee, saying, “I need to stop and tell you how very, very blessed we are that you are our guardian angel at Magee.  I don't even have words to tell you how relieved we are to know we will be looked after with such love and concern. “

Nan says it is comforting to be treated like family and receive continuity of care that extends from the emergency department to the intensive care unit, to the hospital floor and their primary care geriatric physician. “It’s reassuring to know you will receive the best, most comprehensive health care — no matter what your situation — and personal attention from a team you can trust.”

 

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