Geriatrics is a field of medicine dedicated to helping people of a certain age. But what exactly is that age and what conditions determine if it’s time to make a switch? Whether you’re looking for yourself or someone else you care deeply about, you may have some questions about geriatrics. On this page, we’ll walk you through what you can expect from a geriatric practice and when it might be time to seek one out.
What is Geriatrics?
Geriatrics is a sub-specialty of internal medicine, so it makes more sense to start there. Internal medicine is a branch of healthcare that’s dedicated to preventing, diagnosing, and treating conditions that happen inside the bodies of adults. Internists are physicians who spend an additional 1-3 years in school in order to be called internal medicine specialists. They then go on to work as generalists or will cover a specific area, such as cardiovascular health, diabetes care, or geriatrics. In some cases, internists will see patients on a regular basis, just like a family doctor will. However, many become “doctor’s doctors.” Due to their expertise, other physicians call them when they need additional help diagnosing or a patient isn’t responding to treatment. Therefore, individuals may seek out the help of a geriatric specialist, also called a geriatrician, when they think they need one or when their physician refers them.
What Do Geriatricians Do?
Aging people need special care. They’re often more fragile, prone to falls, and have mobility issues. Sometimes cognitive issues begin creeping in, such as confusion or memory loss. They’re more likely to suffer from multiple conditions as well. And, because of this, they probably have multiple medications with side-effects to manage. Geriatricians see to all these things, so any one of them is a good reason to see a specialist. Moreover, sometimes family members and caregivers have questions about how to care for their aging loved one. A geriatrician is usually glad to meet with both (provided the patient consents) to provide advice.
- Balance and Falls
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Chronic Pain
- Medication/ Side-Effect Issues
- Memory Problems
- Mobility Issues
- Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease
- Respiratory Problems
- Vision and Hearing Impairment
At What Age Should I Find a Geriatrics Practice Near Me?
There isn’t a hard limit here. Much like pediatricians will often see newborns through teens, geriatricians see anyone who can benefit from their services. Usually, that starts to happen around age 65, but if you or your loved one fits into one of the categories above, it’s worthwhile to check out practices in your area—even if you’re a bit younger.
Join Dedication Health: Your Partner in Geriatric Care
Dedication Health is a concierge medical practice, dedicated to enriching the lives of all our patients. Because of this, we have a number of specialists on staff, including a geriatrician. Perhaps most importantly, our commitment to patient-focused care means you’ll not only receive specialist services, but you’ll get as much time with your doctor as you need, will have access to him around the clock, and will gain access to things like on-site diagnostics, medication management, as well as a host of other services designed to improve your care and make managing your health easier. If you have questions or would like to reserve your space in our practice, or practice manager Christine is glad to speak with you. Call 847-986-6770 to get started.