Harold Martin, RN, with Platinum Care LA, “Geriatric medicine is a specialty that focuses on health for the elderly. Doctors in this specialized field are specially trained in the aging process, and they understand the best approach to working with older patients in a medical setting. These doctors primarily serve patients over the age of 60, with the large majority being over 65. Due to improvements in technology and medicine, the number of people over 65 is currently at an all-time high.”
Primary care providers may assist older patients who are either healthy, or have minor medical issues. However, when elderly possess significant medical issues, it is important for them to be treated by a doctor who is especially knowledgeable about aging, and the general life conditions of older individuals. Geriatric physicians, otherwise known as geriatricians, work closely with nurses, social workers, physical therapists, pharmacists, and other geriatricians in order to optimize the experience of elderly patients.
Geriatricians cater procedures and treatments specifically to work well with the elderly. Overall, the aim of this field of medicine is to prevent diseases and disabilities, but treatment is also a key component. These physicians may treat many different conditions, including: Alzheimer’s disease, many types of cancer, dementia, diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, Osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, various sleep disorders, and strokes. This list is not exhaustive. Although these conditions are not exclusively possessed by the elderly, they are very common among the older crowd. Geriatricians treat these conditions in a manner that is most suitable for the elderly, and make their patients feel very welcome and comforted. For example, another key role of geriatricians is to evaluate the patient’s basic competencies in relation to taking care of themselves (i.e. bathing, dressing, and feeding). If patients are essentially incompetent in this manner, geriatric nurses and doctors assist them with these processes.
There are many benefits to seeing a geriatric physician, and you should especially consider it if you are over the age of 65, concerned your problems are not a typical part of the aging process, you feel as though your health conditions are preventing you from fully enjoying life, or you simply wish to learn more about the best ways to stay health in your later years. Furthermore, it is imperative you see a geriatrician if you are over the age of 65, and are in critical medical condition. Everybody is different, but it is very likely you will benefit if you are older, and you reach out to a geriatric medical practice for assistance.