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Martha Stewart welcomes Union Square facility as a 'model' for elder care

Martha Stewart, known for her lifestyle expertise, helped

Martha Stewart, known for her lifestyle expertise, helped open the second Martha Stewart Center for Living in Manhattan on Wednesday, at Mount Sinai-Union Square.   Photo Credit: Li Yakira Cohen

Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart joined Mount Sinai medical professionals in welcoming a new senior health care facility in lower Manhattan on Wednesday.

Located on the third floor of Mount Sinai-Union Square, the Martha Stewart Center for Living has nine exam rooms large enough for patients and their caretakers. Dubbed a “one-stop shop” for primary and outpatient care, the center is only steps away from other medical services, including dermatology, radiology, urgent care and a pharmacy. The entire center is handicap accessible.

The Center for Living also provides holistic services and classes on the building’s first floor, such as yoga, nutrition planning, music therapy and fall prevention programs. Doctors will recommend certain programs to patients, who will also receive more information on the schedule and structure in regular newsletters.

“It’s not just taking care of them with medicine, but it’s also teaching them good habits,” said Stewart, 77. “This is a model for all other hospitals to follow to take care of the aging population.”

Stewart’s focus on elder care is sparked by the aging baby boomer population, particularly in lower Manhattan. There are more than 93,000 New Yorkers aged 65 years or older living below Central Park, according to the Department of City Planning’s American Community Survey, making up about 8% of New York City’s 65-plus population.

“We are experiencing and living in the graying of America,” Stewart said. “We are having a real crisis on our hands because we’re not focused on taking care of people that are over the age of 65. … We can’t fill hospitals with people who have ailments and illnesses. We have to figure out a way to make them less likely to be sick.”

Sean Morrison, a doctor of geriatrics and palliative care at Mount Sinai, said that the Center for Living will specifically address better clinical care, education and research. Student fellows at Mount Sinai will work alongside and research with experienced doctors to learn about illnesses and ailments specific to the age demographic.

“Most of us caring for older adults are using data that’s based upon studies on 50-year-olds,” Morrison said. “The average age of people in cancer trials is 52. … Alzheimer’s disease peaks in the mid to late 80s, and that’s when most people develop the disabling disorder, but the average of the studies is 75.”

This will be Stewart’s second Center for Living; the first opened in 2007 at 1440 Madison Ave. after she made a "generous gift" to Mount Sinai.

Both locations accept all major insurances and Medicaid. The Center for Living is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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