From the wisdom of elders' lived experiences to the unique stories they share, Bernadette Meade, DO, HMDC, said she has always known she wanted to work closely with older people. For the past four years she has been taking care of Gillette's elderly population at Campbell County Health and said her appreciation for the older generation continues to grow. As the medical director of
Pioneer Manor and
Hospice Care and with a practice specializing in elder care—Campbell County Medical Group
Geriatric Medicine—Dr. Meade focuses daily on the people near and dear to her heart.
"I like taking care of older people," Dr. Meade said. "My patients teach me all the time. They teach me about courage, grace and survival."
Dr. Meade specializes in working with patients 60 and older and helping them to maintain a quality life for as long as possible. For Dr. Meade, that means listening to their health concerns and providing them with sound advice for staying active and independent.
"I not only ask about their physical health, but their psycho-social health as well," Dr. Meade said. "Being old is not a negative. It has its challenges, but with modern medicine we have a lot of tools to help them. There's a lot of great ways we can make people's lives better."
Jerry Winter read a local article about Dr. Meade and her elder care specialty. Working his way into that age range, Jerry said he thought it might be a good idea to see a doctor who specialized in treating people as they made their way through their later years.
"I was getting to a point in my life where I wanted to see someone who specialized in elder care," Jerry said. "I was impressed in that she took a lot of time with me. She took a lot of time, asked a lot of questions and listened well."
For Jerry, the thoroughness of his meeting with Dr. Meade and the follow up tests and appointments helped him realize that his health was on the right track. While he felt like he was in pretty good shape before his appointment with Dr. Meade, Jerry said she pointed out a few areas to consider working on.
"I have a much better broad perspective of the things I should be aware of and what I should do in conjunction with annual checkups," Jerry said. "Most of the things I did as a result of seeing her validated I was doing things correctly."
The visit and follow-up appointments were reminiscent of Jerry's experience at Mayo Clinic in the past, an extremely high standard that he was pleased to receive at Campbell County Health.
"I was pleasantly surprised at the care I was given," Jerry said. "It was a level of care most people hope for, but not what they always get."
With The Legacy Living & Rehabilitation Center, a new nursing home and rehabilitation facility, on the horizon for Gillette, Dr. Meade said the commitment of Campbell County Health in caring for its elderly is more than evident and she said she's glad to be part of the team making it happen.
"CCH is addressing the different needs of the elderly," Dr. Meade said. "They're supportive of elderly who need long-term care service. CCH sees the whole continuum of care."
Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer