Geriatrics is a branch of general medicine that is concerned with preventive, remedial, clinical and some social aspects of illness in old age. It is also concerned with the different patterns of disease presentation, requirements for social support and also call for special medical skills.
Presentations of illness in old age are often non-specific: geriatricians focus on falls, immobility and confusion as well as adverse drug reactions. There is a broad range of illnesses, particularly stroke, infections, heart diseases and diabetes. Some geriatricians deal with the whole range of geriatric defects mostly the ones who spend time working in the community. Others specialize in areas such as orthopedic geriatrics, stroke, falls, cerebral ageing and Parkinsonism.
At its start, geriatrics requires detailed assessment of ill and disabled old people. This includes close interdisciplinary working with nurses, therapists, pharmacists, social workers and other health professionals. Geriatrics works closely with different psychiatrists and clinical specialists to ensure that old people receive the highest possible levels of care.
A geriatric physician is called a geriatrician and is a medical doctor who specializes majorly in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and disability in aged people. Geriatric physicians are primary care health professionals who are specially trained in the aging process.
Geriatricians provide medical care for people later in their life. They are board certified and they are usually in either family medicine or internal medicine. They have also received additional training and certification in geriatric medicine.
Geriatric physicians focus on health defects that frequently affect the older ageing people, such as pain, falls, memory loss and incontinence. Another important aspect of geriatric medicine is that this physicians focus on all aspects of health care and work as part of a health care team that deals with addressing issues which affect the elderly. Medical professionals who work with geriatricians include social workers, nurses, physical therapists, geriatric psychiatrists and nutritionists. These team of medical professionals focuses on many aspects of the patient’s life, including his or her living conditions, social support, home life and community.
Geriatricians provide care in a number of ways. They visit patients in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, clinics, and physician offices, and they often provide or manage in home care.