What Is Geriatrics?

Dr. Calvin Hirsch

November 2, 2022

geriatrics

The field of geriatrics is concerned with the care of older people. Geriatricians treat older patients in a variety of healthcare settings. They also collaborate with other disciplines such as therapists, pharmacists, and social workers. Some of the topics covered in geriatric care include depression in older people and the treatment of chronic conditions.

Age 59-73

Geriatrics is an area of medicine that deals with aging, particularly in the elderly. The definition of old age differs depending on the social role. For example, a person may be considered old when they are no longer active, unable to care for themselves, or unable to bear children. These social roles, however, aren’t set in stone, and people can become grandparents at any age.

Geriatric care includes the care of older patients, often in their own homes. A geriatric nurse practitioner may work with a primary care clinician, a social worker, or a geriatric interdisciplinary team to provide comprehensive care for older patients. Some studies have shown that these programs improve patient outcomes, especially in low-income patients. They also reported fewer visits to the emergency room, fewer hospital admissions, and better health-related quality of life.

Symptoms of depression in older people

There are some common symptoms of depression in older people. They may include sleeplessness, loss of self-worth, and thoughts of suicide. While many older people do not experience depression, some may be reluctant to seek treatment because they may feel embarrassed or ashamed. Depression is a serious condition that can lead to other health problems, including alcohol abuse. However, many older people who suffer from depression can improve their symptoms with a combination of drugs and psychotherapy.

Unlike depression in younger people, depression in older people is not always diagnosed. Some people may mistake certain symptoms for normal aging, such as poor concentration. Other symptoms may include reduced energy levels or fatigue.

Treatment of chronic conditions

Treatment of chronic conditions in geriatric patients is often complex and involves a variety of medications. The goal of chronic disease management is to improve the quality of life for patients and minimize the risk of developing a new chronic disease. Many chronic diseases require medications to manage symptoms and are expensive. Furthermore, medications can negatively affect a senior’s health in the short and long term. For this reason, it is important to discuss potential side effects with a patient.

A proactive patient is often the key to optimizing care for chronic conditions. This type of patient is sometimes referred to as an empowered, engaged, or prepared patient. Regardless of the name, it’s important to take the time to learn about chronic conditions, as well as the recommended best practices for optimizing care for each one. It is also important to understand the best questions to ask a physician and double-check the care they provide.

Prevention of falls

Prevention of falls is important for older people, especially those with deteriorating mobility. The most effective prevention strategy focuses on identifying risk factors and implementing interventions that reduce the risk of future falls. Some falls are obvious, while others are more subtle and may be caused by a variety of factors. To increase the effectiveness of fall prevention, physicians should regularly assess patients to determine their risk for falls.

Identifying risk factors for falls in older adults is a complex process. Many interventions have been developed, including the use of physical therapy, home modifications, and other strategies to reduce the risk of falls. However, it is not yet clear which factors are the most effective in the prevention of falls in geriatric patients.

Communication with a geriatrician

Communication with geriatricians is a critical part of the care of older adults. These professionals can help patients cope with the changes brought on by aging. They can also explain issues such as polypharmacy, and the use of several medications by an elderly patient. This can be a challenge for patients because they may not know the interactions between the medications.

It is important to note that each geriatrician will have a unique style of communication. Some operate primarily online while others prefer face-to-face interaction. It is important to find a geriatrician who is easy to understand and who delivers instructions. Also, the communication style should be compatible with the patient’s preferences.