Caring for Vulnerable Geriatric Patients with OASIS

Topic: Specific Patient Populations

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Elder Orphans are aged, community-dwelling individuals who are socially and/or physically isolated, without a known family member or designated surrogate. They are at high risk for failure to thrive and loss of independence and safety, which can engender burdens for patients and health systems. Moreover, they are at higher risk for adverse health effects. Using the University of Michigan's Health and Retirement Study, we estimate that the prevalence of this demographic is about 22% of the over-65 population, a number expected to increase as the population ages. Thus, provisions must be made for those at risk of becoming Elder Orphans to appropriately plan for their futures, educate them about community resources, and ensure their safety. We propose the Older Adult Services for Independence and Safety (OASIS) assessment center to care for this and other vulnerable geriatric populations. This multidisciplinary approach links public-domain community resources with healthcare delivery. OASIS is dedicated to identifying at-risk older community-dwelling adults, assessing their needs by monitoring health and wellness, and assisting with medical and social care by specializing in a myriad of geriatric assessments. We hope to encourage action to be taken to prepare for the aging population while concurrently raising awareness for Elder Orphans.


  • Maria T. Carney, MD
  • North Shore- LIJ Health System Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine
  • 270-05 76th Avenue Research Bldg, second floor
  • Hyde Park, NY 11040
  • (718) 470-7270


  • Brian E. Emmert, Jr. B.S.

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