Seniors deal with a lot of changes medically as they age. There may come a time when loved ones and seniors wonder if they need a doctor who specializes in geriatrics to help with these changes. Understanding what a geriatric doctor is and how they might help seniors is essential when discussing treatment. Elder care professionals can assist in this determination as well.
What is a Geriatric Doctor?
A geriatric doctor specializes in providing medical care for seniors. These medical professionals have received the education necessary to comprehend the one-of-a-kind requirements and obstacles that seniors experience as they get older. They are equipped with the information and skills essential to assist seniors in maintaining their quality of life and health.
How Can Geriatric Doctors Help Seniors?
Geriatric doctors, often called geriatricians, are specialized physicians trained to assist in various ways. The following are some examples:
- Comprehensive health evaluations: Geriatricians are trained to provide an in-depth analysis of a senior patient’s health, considering their current and past medical conditions, medications, and lifestyle choices. The doctor can use this information to assist in designing a customized care plan tailored to their specific requirements.
- Managing and treating chronic illnesses: A significant number of seniors suffer from one or more chronic health conditions, like diabetes, arthritis, or heart disease. Seniors can collaborate with geriatric specialists to understand how to better control their diseases and avoid further difficulties.
- Medication management: Speaking of medication management, seniors frequently take many medications. This can be confusing and harmful if the prescriptions are not managed properly. Geriatric doctors help ensure seniors have been prescribed the appropriate medications and avoid potentially hazardous drug interactions. As mentioned above, elder care aids can consistently ensure the doctor’s orders are followed.
- Geriatricians understand mental health: Seniors often suffer from depression and anxiety, making mental health care all the more important. Geriatricians can diagnose and treat these problems, which can assist seniors in maintaining their mental and emotional health.
- End-of-life care: Geriatric doctors can assist seniors and their loved ones in navigating end-of-life problems such as advance directives, hospice care, and palliative care during the end-of-life care process.
Additionally, elder care aids can assist seniors by ensuring they have everything they need to follow the doctor’s recommendations. From medication management to healthy meal planning, the elder care team supports seniors in reaching their goals.
Finding a Geriatric Doctor
Loved ones may find a geriatric doctor by searching online or talking with current providers. It’s important to involve seniors in this search as they may not want to or understand why they need to change physicians. Before any changes are made, an open and honest conversation with the treatment team is needed.
Geriatricians, in general, play a significant part in ensuring that seniors can preserve their health, independence, and overall quality of life as they get older. Loved ones should talk with the home health team and current physicians to understand how seniors might benefit from a specialist.