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Center for Healthy Aging

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Being in the hospital can be difficult. It’s an unfamiliar place for most people. As an older adult, a hospital admission can also cause a variety of complications including confusion or delirium, a decline in functioning and other physical issues. That’s why the Center for Health Aging was created. Our goal is to help you or your family member return home as soon as possible with the best possible level of independence for daily activities. 

Our physicians and nurse practitioners specialize in geriatric medicine – caring for adults over 65 years of age while they are in the hospital. Because of this expertise, Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top hospitals in the nation for geriatric medicine year over year. Our emergency department is the first in Arizona to receive a Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians.

If you or a family member are over the age of 65 and admitted to our hospital, we encourage you to ask to speak to our team. We will meet with you and your family to understand your medical history, your normal routine and your ability to care for yourself at home.  Then we will work with your doctors and nurses to create a treatment plan that takes into account your personal needs and reduces your risk of experiencing confusion, falls or other complications while in the hospital.


The Center for Health Aging team can evaluate you for a number of geriatric issues that can impact your health and recovery. These include:

  • Pressure ulcers
  • Incontinence
  • Falls
  • Functional decline
  • Delirium
  • Malnutrition
  • Sleeping problems
  • Dizziness
  • Self-neglect

A condition often seen in people over the age of 65 in the hospital is delirium. The unfamiliar environment coupled with illness or injury can cause confusion.  If identified early, the complications of delirium can be reduced.  Our geriatric experts work with you and your doctors to prevent delirium and manage it if it occurs.

Falls and their associated injuries are one of the most common reasons older adults visit an emergency room. If you or a loved one experience a fall, you can feel confident in our special treatment program for older adults. We work closely with our trauma and orthopedic teams to get you to surgery in a timely manner and back home as soon as possible.

Once you go home, our outpatient Falls Clinic helps you continue to recover. Pharmacists review your medications and give you information to share with your primary care doctor about any drugs you are taking that may increase your fall risk.  If you broke a bone during your fall, our bone experts can help you strengthen your bones to prevent future falls and bone breaks.

Look to the Center for Healthy Aging if you or a loved one need support for frailty concerns, dementia, caregiver needs, complex pain management, advanced care planning, and relieving pain and stress related to serious illness while in the hospital.

  • Nimit Agarwal, MD, Division Chief of Geriatric Medicine and Medical Director, Center for Healthy Aging
  • Angel Chu-Peterson, DNP, AGACNP-BC
  • Theresa Caruso, MSN, AGACNP-BC
  • Linnet Sebastian, MSN, AGACNP-BC

The Center for Healthy Aging believes educating patients, family and caregivers improves quality of life for older adults. We provide education about delirium, frailty, dementia, caregiver needs, complex pain and medication management, advanced care planning, and relieving pain and stress related to serious illness. 

The University of Arizona, in coordination with Banner – University Medicine, conducts a variety of research studies and clinical trials to support a commitment to improving patient care. As a patient at Banner – University Medical Center, you may be eligible to participate, meaning you’ll have access to new treatments, which may not yet be available to the public.

The Center for Health Aging provides education to family and caregivers about preventing delirium at home, including tips for activities that connect your loved one to their family, friends and the outside world.