What is Geriatrics?
Over the past few decades, advances and developments in medicine and technology have increased the average life expectancy of the general population. As a result, a larger segment of the population is comprised of individuals over the age of 65. Geriatric medicine is a unique approach to provide primary healthcare to these elderly individuals.
Why do Geriatric Patients Need Special Care?
There are several factors that highlight the need for a more multidisciplinary and holistic approach to meet the healthcare needs of the geriatric population; some of which are as follows:
- Age predisposes the elderly to a number of chronic diseases and functional problems.
- Multiple drug therapies make the elderly more susceptible to adverse drug reactions.
- Certain diagnostic tests are quite uncomfortable and may be associated with additional risks in the older population.
How are Geriatric Patients Evaluated and Treated?
Geriatric care requires a holistic approach that involves the evaluation of a patient’s physical, mental and functional status. This is coupled with the assessment and identification of any depression or memory impairment. Your geriatrician will review your history and devise an individualized plan of treatment to optimize outcomes and improve your quality of life. You may be referred to other specialists, depending on your clinical condition.