The specialized training and education of a geriatrician can help an elder enjoy their sunset days. They are typically recommended to provide primary care to older people experiencing complex physical, cognitive, or mental challenges due to aging. As a caregiver, you may be debating whether or not to include a geriatrician in the care of an elderly relative. Most family caregivers juggle many doctors, specialists, exams, records, and prescription medications. A physician assistant in Gaithersburg, MD, can keep track of and coordinate the efforts of specialists and other care professionals like therapists and social workers.
Understanding geriatric care
Elder parents and other aging relatives may require advanced medical care. However, achieving and sustaining optimal health and wellness for older people is more than just a medical issue. Effective geriatric care necessitates collaboration between health providers and caregivers. Both work together to manage their elders’ health concerns and provide a safe, positive environment for them. Many health problems arise or worsen due to the natural aging process.
Moreover, physical or mental ability impairments frequently worsen health issues in senior individuals. This typically leads to a negative spiral in which the patient loses control of their treatment, and poor health outcomes become more common. Two forms of geriatric care work together to tackle these difficulties and promote excellent health. These are geriatric medicine and geriatric care management.
- Geriatric medicine
Geriatric medicine is a branch that deals with the elderly. The geriatrician’s job in the senior equation is to prevent, diagnose, and cure diseases that affect older people. Although geriatric medicine is a specialization, geriatricians adopt a comprehensive approach to treating patients holistically. Geriatric doctors examine a wide range of risk factors, in addition to treating specific diseases in their patients, including:
- Incontinence – the inability to control bodily excretion.
- Delirium – is characterized by confusion or recurrent mental disturbances.
- Polypharmacy – refers to the possibility of harmful medication interactions.
- Dementia – is associated with a loss of memory or judgment.
- Falls – are known to cause fatal and non-fatal injuries among the elderly.
- Geriatric care management
Although professional home care services are readily available, family members typically assume the role of caregiver for the senior patient. No matter who is in charge of the care, some details must be kept in mind regularly, including:
- Up-to-date medication lists and schedules.
- Meals – diet monitoring and planning.
- Socialization – the goal of socialization is to keep the patient from becoming isolated.
- Understanding signs that may require attention.
When treating their patients, geriatricians consider all of these characteristics and more. They also pay attention to the emotional needs of these patients and their families as they adjust to the need for additional care.
What is the importance of geriatric care?
People experience health issues that they did not have before as they get older. These issues include deteriorating perceptual systems, impaired coordination, neurological issues that frequently begin or worsen, daily tasks becoming increasingly exhausting, and sick days becoming more prevalent. Now, maintaining health and wellness takes more effort. Switching from your regular primary care physician to a geriatrician may be a beneficial decision for certain older persons.
Expertise from a geriatrician can guide the aging journey safely and with care. Contact Doctors First to learn more and get the help you need.