A geriatrician is a healthcare professional specializing in older adults’ care. This includes both preventive and treatment care for conditions that affect aging. The standard requirements are such as arthritis and heart disease.
They also work to maintain optimal mental and physical health for their patients and offer counseling and support groups. Suppose you’re overlooking a loved one who is aging. In that case, it’s essential to know what a geriatrician does and what you can do to increase their quality of life.
Why are Geriatricians Important?
Geriatricians are a vital part of the healthcare system. They play an essential role in helping to maintain everyone’s long-term wellness.
They specialize in providing comprehensive care for people aged 65 and over, including:
- Evaluating health risks and benefits of various suitable treatments.
- Advising on lifestyle changes that may prevent or address chronic conditions.
- Providing counseling on nutrition, exercise, and stress management. Geriatricians also counsel patients on socializing and other matters related to well-being.
A general practitioner is an available medical professional. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses. GPs also provide preventive care, including hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes screenings.
They are typically available around the clock and can often be contacted via phone or online. They are more general and abstract treatment centric. Whereas geriatricians are experienced in elderly care.
This broad range of services allows geriatricians to provide quality care. Geriatricians care for their patients regardless of their medical condition or insurance coverage. Additionally, they have experience working with different age groups throughout life stages.
This can be childhood through middle ages, young adulthood through retirement. They can offer valuable insights into managing treatment plans across the lifespan.
What Does a Geriatrician Do?
A geriatrician is a doctor who focuses on treating the health of elders, specifically those over the age of 60. They may also treat people 65 and older, but their focus is usually on those over 60.
Among the many ailments and disorders that affect people as they age that geriatricians identify and treat are:
- Hearing and vision loss
- Heart failure
- Balance issues
- Cancer, etc.
A geriatrician may recommend various treatments for elderly patients. It includes screenings for health problems like heart disease and cancer. They also treat common issues like arthritis and dementia. They may also prescribe medications to help manage these conditions.
The geriatrician may do surgeries on seniors if there are complications from other medical conditions. Or if it’s needed to remove a dangerous object or insert an artificial device into the body. Besides, they may provide counseling and advice on overall health and well-being.
Geriatricians recently divided care for older people into five main categories. As follows:
- Mobility – Determine your mobility concerns, learn what causes falls and how to avoid them.
- Mind – Recognize how the mind functions in cognitive, emotional, and behavioral health.
- Multicomplexity – Manage aging-related complex or chronic illnesses.
- Medication – Control your medicine intake, mainly if you take several.
- Matters Most – Assisting patients with end-of-life and palliative care.
Geriatricians can be a matter of contact for a group of medical professionals. These professionals monitor complicated drug interactions and prioritize care for patients.
Geriatric physicians focus on patient satisfaction with their care and the quality of life. They spend more time and gather more data than an internal medicine doctor would at each appointment.
They get your older adult’s complete medical history and inquire about lifestyle, community, and family.
Geriatricians also concentrate on supporting families and seniors:
- Determine their top healthcare priorities
- Make care strategies
- Review and control all prescriptions
- Care coordination with other medical professionals
- Provide end-of-life and palliative care
Geriatricians try to understand the differences between older and middle-aged bodies. It helps geriatricians select more effective medicines for the elderly.
Also, Check – What is an Inpatient Rehab Center?
Difference Between a Geriatric Doctor and Primary Care Doctors
A geriatrician doctor specializes in caring for people over the age of 60 years. Geriatric doctors typically have in-depth experience. They deal with the unique health problems that often arise as people age.
They also have a deeper understanding of managing treatments and chronic conditions. This makes them better equipped to help their patients stay healthy and happy.
Primary health physicians treat all illnesses and injuries, including those that affect the elderly. Yet, primary care doctors may not be as familiar with geriatric care or the specific needs of older patients. This can lead to missed opportunities to help these patients stay as healthy and independent as possible.
Suppose you’re an elderly patient looking for someone who can focus specifically on your health and well-being. In that case, a geriatric doctor is probably the best option!
When Should a Person Start Seeing a Geriatric Doctor?
As people age, their bodies become more susceptible to various health problems. This is why they need to see a geriatric doctor as soon as possible. It’s helpful when any elderly face any indications or symptoms that could be indicative of an illness or condition.
Common symptoms warrant seeing a geriatric doctor:
- Memory decline
- Bowel habits changes
- Confusion and difficulty processing information
- Reduced mobility
- Coordination issues, and
- The trouble with balance.
If you’re worried about your elderly family member or friend and would like to help them in their healthcare journey, there are some things you can do. First, ensure they have all the medical records they need to be saved. So that doctors can quickly assess their current situation and plan and plan treatments accordingly.
Additionally, try to ease communication between the seniors’ caregivers and doctors. It can be done by providing input on how best to care for the patient. In this challenging time, be understanding and helpful, not judgmental.
Should You Replace Your Family Doctor with a Geriatric Doctor?
While replacing your primary care doctor with a geriatric doctor is ultimately up to you, some potential benefits may make this switch worth it.
Geriatric doctors typically have more experience than general care physicians and are better equipped to care. They are experienced for patients who suffer from chronic conditions such as arthritis or dementia. Additionally, they often know about newer medications and treatments. The new treatment method and medicines might be helpful for these conditions.
Furthermore, geriatric doctors are sometimes better at addressing broader health issues. These issues are like weight loss or mental health concerns. They also manage to be more holistic in their approach. It includes recommending lifestyle changes and medication therapy.
A geriatrician may be an excellent choice if you seek a doctor who can help with aging-related medical needs.
By now, you must have comprehended what a geriatrician does. This professional is there to aid seniors in various aspects of their health and wellness. They make sure that they lead happy, healthy lives.
If you are still confused or want more information on what a geriatrician does, just keep reading the blog. We have given out everything in this article and even mentioned what specialists can perform if needed. That is how important it is that seniors get proper help at the right time.
If you think someone may be suffering from these conditions, encourage them to visit a specialist for help. They might refer people to a geriatrician. They can provide accurate diagnoses and check their health.