Active at Age 90 – and Still Counting!

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Reaching Age 90 – And Actively Still Counting
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Marcia Spaly is an active 90-year-old, who wants to keep it that way. That’s why, when she fell and broke her arm on a trip to Mackinac Island, she went to Hurley Medical Center for the Fast Track Emergency Department experience for patients 65 and older. Her daughter-in-law Connie had heard about the service through a friend, so when the urgent care they tried first sent them to the ER, they chose Hurley.

“We usually use a different hospital,” Connie said. “But we thought we’d just put the new senior program at Hurley to the test.” Marcia certainly didn’t want to sit all night in an ER, having already endured a 3 1/2-hour bus ride home from Mackinac with her tour group. She had avoided most of her pain by holding her arm still and was relieved to be in the ideal place for getting help. From the moment she arrived, Marcia was impressed with how quickly things moved along.

“She (the front desk nurse) took my name and whisked me in back and started taking care of me,” Marcia said. Then Dr. Weber came in and treated her with thoroughness and respect. “He was nice, down to earth. He didn’t act like a doctor,” Marcia laughed. She appreciated that he never talked down to her, and her family members liked that they were included in the exam.

“He had her best interests at heart at all times,” Connie said. “The fact they put her in a cast that she could still move with was wonderful. They understood she didn’t want to be slowed down.”

Now Marcia can get back to all those activities that make her life so active and fulfilling—her breakfast club, her luncheon club and the Red Hat Society, which is a social group for women age 50 and up. She is not a woman who likes being cooped up in the house. In fact, the first question she asked the doctor was, “When can I drive again?”

“I try not to let age slow me down. I feel so good,” said Marcia. “I’ve never been to Hurley before and I had a very good experience,” she said. “I don’t know if I’ve gotten any better treatment of any kind.”

Hurley Medical Center is the area’s only Senior Center of Excellence. In addition to the Fast Track rooming policy for patients 65 and older in the ER, their services include a team of geriatric nurse specialists who follow older patients from admission to discharge to address age-specific needs, a virtual geriatric fracture center and a bone health program. Hurley is also one of only five hospitals in the state with NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) Exemplar status, a geriatric nursing distinction indicating their commitment to excellence in the care of patients 65 and older. For more information on the special services Hurley offers senior patients, visit www.hurleymc.com/services/senior/.

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