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What should doctors be asking their older patients? A new screening tool provides may help

Dr. John Morley discussed the health issues older adults should keep an eye out for, as well as a new screening tool to identify them.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Dr. John Morley discussed the health issues older adults should keep an eye out for, as well as a new screening tool to identify them.

Dr. John Morley, a SLUCare geriatrician and director of geriatrics at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss health issues faced by older adults and what doctors should know to look for in their older patients. 

"Physicians are not well trained in care of older people," Morley said. "They tend to treat older people as though they are 50-year-olds and that's not a good thing."

Morley, along with the team at SLUCare, has crafted a simple assessment program to get a headstart on diagnosis and treatment of issues in older people. He said the program has been tested on six continents with 9,000 screenings in the past year and has proven effective at identifying issues early.

"We're finding people 80 and older are actually having some problems thinking and many of these problems are fixable," Morley said. "In addition to that, the screen asks about advanced directives. Only about 60 percent of older Americans in Missouri have advanced directives."

There are several free, local screenings coming up that St. Louis residents can be a part of. For more information on timing, you can head to this website: aging.slu.edu.

Listen to the full conversation with Morley here:

Related Events

What: 37th Annual "Bringing It Together: Age Out Loud HealthFest"
When: Friday, May 26 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Muny Opera Pavillion in Forest Park
More information.

What: SLU Geriatric Health Assessments
When: Saturday, June 10 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where:  Learning Resources Center at Saint Louis University Medical School, call 314-977-8848 for an appointment
More information.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.

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