What Is a Geriatric Doctor? - Juthow.com

A primary care physician who focuses on treating elderly patients is known as a geriatrician. They could give you integrative treatment, make several diagnoses, and support your quest for a high standard of living.
 
Physical, mental, emotional, and social issues specific to ageing may arise.

90% of persons in the United States are predicted to have at least one chronic illness by the age of 80.

There is no set age at which one should begin visiting a geriatrician. Conditions and needs vary from person to person. In contrast, you might think about visiting a geriatrician if you:
  • are living with multiple conditions or diseases
  • have reduced mobility or another disability
  • want to help provide additional assistance to your caregivers, family members, and friends
  • take multiple medications
Geriatric physicians assist older persons, typically those 65 and over, in maintaining their functionality, health, and happiness. However, the field of geriatrics is becoming less common.

There are, according to the American Geriatrics Society, little over 8,200 geriatricians work full-time throughout the country. However, because people are living longer, there will be a 50% increase in demand for geriatricians by 2030 compared to supply.

Therefore, there may be strong reasons to think about locating a geriatrician in your area, regardless of whether you're close to retirement age or have been managing a health problem that normally affects older people.

What Is a Geriatric Doctor



What does a geriatric doctor do?

Identifying and treating various disorders

To create the most effective treatment strategy for you, a geriatrician will carry out functional, cognitive, and physical examinations.

Your capacity to complete specific tasks on your own is referred to as your functional status. Examples include:
  • eating and drinking
  • managing your finances
  • controlling bowel and bladder movements
  • bathing and dressing
  • shopping and doing household work
  • taking medication
A cognitive evaluation includes a search for symptoms of diseases like dementia, sleeplessness, and depression.

A physical examination and review of your medical history determine your risk for ailments that older people may face, including:
  • incontinence
  • hypertension
  • osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
  • diabetes
  • hearing and vision loss
  • malnutrition
  • fall injuries or balance issues

Integrate care

Geriatricians may monitor your overall health and assist in managing your medical staff, which may include:
  • pharmacists
  • nurses
  • neurologists
  • family members
  • social workers
  • mental and physical therapists

If you're dealing with multiple ailments, they can assist you in setting treatment priorities. Additionally, they can assist you in creating a safe and healthy prescription schedule because they are informed about complicated drug interactions and adverse effects.

Promote healthy ageing

You can maintain a healthy, active lifestyle with the assistance of geriatricians.

They can also assist you in developing a favourable view of ageing in yourself.

Negative attitudes towards ageing, according to studies, may have a major impact on both mental and physical health. For instance, the amount and calibre of medical information, services, and treatments that older individuals receive from healthcare providers may be constrained by ageism.

Similarly to this, those who have unfavourable opinions of themselves or are ageing may:
  • be less likely to participate in positive activities such as exercise
  • expect not to be seen by a medical professional and therefore avoid seeking help
  • irrationally justify their aches, pains, and illnesses
A geriatrician can offer advice on how to handle challenging changes in your family, place of employment, or way of life.


What kind of training does a geriatrician have?

Geriatricians are certified medical professionals.

They typically go through the following training:
  • passing the Geriatric Medicine Certification Examination created and administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine
  • obtaining a medical degree after completing 4 years of school at a university or college
  • obtaining an unrestricted medical license to practice medicine in the United States or Canada
  • completing 3–5 years in a full-time residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education

How do I find a good geriatric doctor?

Here are some things to think about while choosing a geriatrician:

Training

Inquire with prospective doctors about their expertise in treating older persons and whether they have board certification in this profession.

Access to care

How simple is it for you to visit the physician? When necessary, do they offer same-day visits? Think about the location's traffic, the parking options, the office hours, and whether or not there is someone on duty to take calls after hours.

Inquire about the hospital they are associated with and how, in the event of admission, the hospital will communicate information to the doctor.

If you have health insurance, check with your insurance company to determine if the doctor you want to see is included in your plan. You can phone the doctor's office to check if they offer payment plans or discounted rates for self-payers if you don't have health insurance or if your plan doesn't cover the doctor you wish to see.

Communication

Learn if the doctor offers telehealth appointments in addition to in-person visits, whether you'll receive phone calls, texts, or emails as appointment reminders, and how to submit a request for medication refills.

Personality and environment

How does the doctor communicate with you, your healthcare staff, and other patients? How are you treated by the other employees? Are they supportive and nice or patronising? Does the doctor provide clear and comprehensive answers to your questions?

Asking about their approach to medicine and their objectives for your health and well-being will help you determine whether they are in line with your expectations.

Takeaway

Geriatricians are medical professionals that focus on treating illnesses that afflict elderly people. They are a fantastic resource for elderly individuals who might be taking many drugs, have multiple diseases, or need help, even if they are getting harder to find.