The Benefits of Going to a Geriatric Specialist ?
Updated: Aug 3, 2019
Getting the best medical care is an important part of healthy aging. Is switching to a geriatrician the right choice for you?
Having a good relationship with a doctor who is qualified to meet your health care needs is an important part of healthy aging. For some older adults, switching from your current primary care physician to a geriatrician might be a good idea.
What Is a Geriatrician?
A geriatrician is a physician who specializes in geriatrics, the branch of medicine that focuses on senior health and the prevention and treatment of disability and disease in old age.
Your geriatric health care team may also include nurses, social workers, nutritionists, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists, and psychiatrists who have special training or experience in treating older adults.
When You Might Need a Geriatrician
As you enter your senior years, you may develop disabilities or illnesses that are more common to this age group. While some seniors have no health concerns, many struggle with frailty, incontinence, frequent falls, problems with memory, and medication-related side effects.
Most of the time, a general internist or family physician can serve as your primary care provider, especially if he or she is experienced in dealing with older people. But if you are especially frail or have complicated medical problems, you might want to switch to a geriatrician. A geriatrician be consulted when:
Significant age-related frailty and impairment occur, which is more likely in older people who have multiple diseases, disabilities, and/or mental problems.
The patient's condition is causing the caregiving team, including family members and friends, to feel significant stress and strain.
The Holistic Approach of a Geriatric Health Care Team
A geriatric health care team doesn't just treat your medical conditions. They take a more holistic approach, evaluating your past illnesses in addition to your current health condition to come up with a healthy aging plan that's right for you.
If you're suffering from significant frailty, having problems performing so-called activities of daily living — like bathing, dressing, or eating — or dealing with other ailments associated with old age, your team will work together to determine how to best address your individual concerns. Your doctor and other health care team members will evaluate your living conditions and work with your family, friends, and other supporters to ensure that you're getting the best care possible.
Finding the Right Geriatrician for You
If you think a geriatrician might be right for you or for a loved one, talk with your current primary care doctor. He or she might be able to refer you to a qualified geriatrician in your area. Before choosing a geriatrician, it's a good idea to narrow down your list to two or three possibilities and call their offices to ask specific questions about their training and approach to healthy aging, including:
What is the doctor's background? Where did he receive his medical education, and how many years of experience does he have?
What are the doctor's office policies and hours and availability?
Is there any emergency help protocols ?
When you decide on a geriatrician, set up an initial appointment during which you and your doctor get to know each other, and make sure you're satisfied with your choice. If not, schedule an appointment with the next doctor on your list. It's important that you feel comfortable talking with your doctor, since good communication is vital to taking care of your health as you get older.
Dr Rahul’s Elder Care comes with more than 10 years of experience in geriatric medicine. The highly skilled team specialises in elder care achieved through comprehensive approach and holistic attitude. Apart from regular geriatric clinic, the team specialises in Memory and dementia care, Pain and Palliative care, Transitional Care and Chronic Disease Management.