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Geriatric Medicine

Geriatric Medicine is the specialty concerned with all aspects of health and illness in the elderly. It covers the clinical, social, psychological, preventive and rehabilitative aspects of health care.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital Department of Geriatric and Rehabilitation Medicine provides a range of facilities and services with a regional responsibility for those living in the eastern and inner northern suburbs of Adelaide whose ageing or continuing disability threaten increasing dependency.

Many of the services provided by the Department are based at Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre, namely medical rehabilitation, crisis care, planned respite and short term rehabilitation.

The other major component at Hampstead is the Eastern Region Day Rehabilitation Centreand the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing. Also sited at Hampstead and affiliated with the Department is eastern Metropolitan Domiciliary Care and the northern Aged Care Assessment Team.

The Department has links with psychogeriatric services provided by Glenside Hospital and Howard House.

The major teaching activity of the Department is management of the geriatric medicine component of the University of Adelaide medical course in the 5th year, and student intern placement and specialty area attachments in the 6th year.

The Department also conducts the University of Adelaide rural geriatric medicine program based at the Spencer Gulf Rural Health School teaching in Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Kadina and Clare.

The Department has a strong ongoing training program for Advanced Trainees, particularly in Geriatric Medicine. It has a long association with overseas fellows and a particular interest linked to training geriatricians from Indonesia.


The Geriatric Unit is located in Ward S8 which is located in the North Wing of the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Acute Inpatient Care

The Geriatric Unit provides diagnosis and acute treatment for elderly or chronically disabled persons who would not better be treated in other specialty or general units.

The unit comprises 10 beds. Admission can be arranged by consultation with the Geriatric Unit or one of the geriatricians.

Outpatients Assessments

Outpatient consultation and assessment clinics are held on Wednesday afternoons in Level 9 Outpatients. New appointments require a referral from a general practitioner. Appointments can be made through the departmental secretary on (08) 8222 5215.

A multidisciplinary Eastern Region Memory Clinic has been established for clinical assessment and research and can be specifically referred to.

Hospital Consultations

These occur daily and assess for geriatric opinion, rehabilitation potential, stroke rehabilitation and residential care.

Aged Care Assessment Team

Aged Care Assessment is a Commonwealth program whereby referral provides clinical advice and information to facilitate placement in a residential aged care facility (nursing home or hostel). Where necessary links to alternative supports and care options are provided.

The northern Adelaide Aged Care Assessment Team assessments provide the eligibility for government subsidies towards the costs of residential care by the ACCR pro forma.

There is a strong outreach program from the Department providing services to Murray Bridge, Port Augusta, Mackay (Qld), Alice Springs and Tennant Creek (NT).


Current interests are:

  • clinical indicators
  • patient outcomes
  • evaluation and treatment of dementia
  • a stroke registry
  • evaluation of care at home
  • assessment of carers
  • physical activity in old age
  • falls and postural hypotension
  • nutritional assessment of inpatients
  • nutrition in the community
  • memory clinic


  • Dr R Penhall (Head of Unit)
  • Dr P Bastian
  • Dr R Prowse
  • Dr B Long
  • Dr K Buchiw
  • Dr A Mohamed
  • Dr D Lecamwasam
  • Dr B Franchi
  • Dr CS Peh

Contact email:

The Department's office is sited on Level 4, Ward S4


Metropolitan Domiciliary Care
Alzheimer's Association
Healthy Ageing: Nutrition Project

A South Australian based community resource where people with a wide range of neurological conditions can find information and support.