Everything You Need to Know About Geriatric Care

Sep 01, 2023

The importance of geriatric care has never been more apparent as our population ages. Geriatric care includes a wide range of medical, emotional, and social support services aimed at guaranteeing older individuals' well-being and quality of life. 

It should come as no surprise that as people get older, they may require more specialized care. The aging process can result in elderly people requiring specialized care, which is where geriatric medicine and healthcare specialists come in.

What is Geriatrics?

Geriatrics is a medical specialty that focuses on the care of the elderly. There is no set age at which people should seek geriatric care. However, most people over the age of 75 tend to require expert care that addresses the issues that seniors encounter as they age.

Understanding Geriatric Care

Geriatric medicine is a concentration of healthcare that focuses on problems that affect the elderly. This comprises a primary care physician, sometimes known as a geriatrician or gerontologist, who specializes in the care of seniors.

Geriatric care, also known as elderly care or senior care, is an extensive approach that considers not just medical ailments but also the elderly's emotional, social, and psychological well-being. The ultimate goal is to assist elders in maintaining their independence, improving their quality of life, and aging with dignity and respect.

What Comes Under Geriatric Care?

What Comes Under Geriatric Care?

1. Diagnostic Care

This involves addressing or diagnosing existing medical challenges by monitoring present issues and analyzing new symptoms.

2. Therapeutic Care

Therapeutic care is concentrating especially on disease-cure or treatment remedies.

3. Preventive Care

Preventive medicine includes services that help in the prevention of illness and the detection of issues before they can take place.

4. Rehabilitative Care

Providing medical treatment to patients with the goal of curing, treating, or preventing a condition from worsening. For example, cardiac rehabilitation following a heart attack or stroke rehabilitation. Rehabilitative care also includes physical therapy or neurological rehab as well.

Common Medical Issues Faced by Seniors

Older patients require more extensive medical care and tend to have a higher prevalence of chronic health disorders such as:

  • Dementia and Alziemers
  • Delirium
  • Increased confusion and agitation
  • Heart diseases
  • Muscle atrophy

Importance of Geriatric Care

  • Tailored care for complex healthcare conditions in the elderly
  • Optimal management of medication to prevent adverse drug interactions
  • Providing regular screenings and check-ups for early detection
  • Enhance the functional independence of older adults
  • Diagnose and manage cognitive health
  • Offer professional and emotional support for mental well-being

Many geriatric care practices focus on a holistic and comprehensive approach involving physical, mental, and social well-being

Signs You May Need Geriatric Care

  • You suffer from multiple medical conditions
  • Have age-related diseases such as dementia
  • Treatment for one medical condition adversely affects another
  • Have trouble functional in day-to-day life

Ways to Take Care of Geriatric Patients

Ways to Take Care of Geriatric Patients

1. Regular Medical Check-ups:

Visits to a primary care physician on a regular basis are essential for the early detection and management of age-related health concerns. Routine check-ups enable rapid interventions and changes to treatment programs.

2. Medication Management:

For various health issues such as diabetes and heart disease, older folks frequently take numerous medications. Adherence to prescribed doses and schedules, as well as proper medication management, is critical for avoiding adverse drug interactions and problems.

3. Nutrition and Hydration:

A nutrient-dense, well-balanced diet is vital for sustaining maximum health in the elderly. Dehydration and constipation can both be avoided by staying hydrated.

4. Physical Activity:

Exercise on a regular basis helps elders maintain their mobility, muscle strength, and general cardiovascular health. Walking, swimming, and gentle yoga can help improve flexibility and lower the chance of falling.

5. Mental Stimulation:

Cognitive activities such as puzzles, games, reading, and social interactions can help keep the mind fresh and may lower the risk of cognitive decline.

6. Fall Prevention:

Falls are the primary cause of harm amongst the elderly. Modifications in your home, such as building handrails and minimizing tripping hazards, can lower the risk of falls significantly.

7. Emotional Support:

Loneliness or depression are common in geriatric patients. Emotional well-being can be provided via regular social contact with family, friends, and support groups. It is also important to note that senior health care can also lead to caregiver burnout at times.

Priorities of Geriatric Care

1. Pain Management:

Chronic pain is prevalent among the elderly. Effective pain management strategies, including medications, physical therapy, and alternative therapies like acupuncture, can improve the quality of life.

2. Cognitive Health:

Addressing cognitive health is a key priority. Early detection of conditions like Alzheimer's disease and dementia can lead to better management and support for both the patient and their caregivers.

3. Functional Independence:

Preserving the ability to perform daily activities independently is crucial. Occupational therapy and assistive devices can help older adults maintain their functional independence.

4. End-of-Life Care Planning:

Discussions about end-of-life care, including advance directives and palliative care options, should be initiated early to honor the patient's wishes and provide a comfortable and dignified transition. Be sure to approach these topics in a compassionate manner.

5. Social Engagement:

Loneliness and isolation can have a significant impact on the health of older adults. Encouraging social interactions and participation in community activities can combat these issues.

Geriatric care is essential for the well-being and quality of life of our aging population. We can help older persons keep their freedom and dignity by using a holistic approach that covers physical, emotional, and social needs. Access Health Care Physicians can help you learn more about geriatric care and choose the right doctor for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Geriatric care helps seniors in managing all aspects of their health and well-being while preserving their independence for as long as possible.

When caring for the elderly, it is important not to make assumptions about their abilities and to take the time to learn the conditions and circumstances that are unique to each patient.

A sound doctor-patient relationship and continuity of treatment are the priorities.

Housing, home care services, dietary services, and help with daily living tasks are examples of Geriatric care.

Senior Healthcare.