Patient Care Services  > Geriatric Services 

Geriatric Services

elderly women at lunch 

Don't just count your years,
make your years count.
–Ernest Meyers

Interesting Facts:   

  • The United States population aged 65 and over is expected to double in size within the next 25 years.
  • By 2030, almost 1 out of every 5 Americans — some 72 million people — will be 65 years or older.
  • The age group 85 and older is now the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.

The Division of Geriatric Services features a wide array of services developed especially for older adults. We are committed to protecting and preserving the quality of life of seniors and meeting the needs of older South Carolinians, their families, their communities, and health care providers through coordinated programs which reinforce our commitment to Service, Education, Research and Community.

Palmetto Health was the first hospital in South Carolina to receive NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) certification. NICHE is a geriatric initiative dedicated to improving the care of hospitalized patients over the age of 65. The goal of the program is to increase patient and nurse satisfaction and improve methods of caring for older adults.

Improving geriatric nursing competence is more critical than ever. Older adults now are the core consumers of hospital care and nurses play a central role influencing care delivery. NICHE provides Palmetto Health with the principles and tools to help us achieve patient-centered care for older adults. NICHE improves quality of care for older adult patients through:

  • Enhanced nursing knowledge and skills in the treatment of older adult patients
  • Proven strategies and methods to address issues specific to older patients
  • Improved clinical outcomes
  • Greater patient and family satisfaction  

NICHE innovations implemented at Palmetto Health include:

  • Quiet at Night sleep enhancement care to promote more peaceful nights
  • Geriatric Resource Nurse and Geriatric Sensitivity staff education and immersion programs
  • Educational drug information and specialized geriatric patient order sets used in computerized physician order entry system to assist in avoiding potentially inappropriate medications for older adult patients
  • Improved patient/nurse interactions that helps calm older adult patient fears and anxiety related to hospitalization

We enjoy a long-standing collaborative relationship with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Division of Geriatrics. Joined by a deep commitment to develop geriatric programs which serve older adults in South Carolina, the collaboration received the prestigious Leader in Geriatric Innovations award from the SAGE Institute’s Geriatric Best Practices in 2004.