Your children likely visited a pediatrician when they were young. In the end, infants and children have unique requirements that differ from those of adults.
In contrast, older folks frequently have different medical issues than they did in their 30s and 40s. However, many individuals are unaware that there are specialists for the elderly.
Why Geriatricians Are Crucial
Geriatricians are primary care physicians with additional training in the treatment of elderly patients. They are able to work in outpatient settings, nursing homes, and hospitals.
Geriatricians frequently collaborate with other primary care doctors as part of a treatment team, focused on assisting older people with numerous health problems or complex diseases. The geriatrician is responsible for coordinating care with other physicians and guiding the patient in making treatment decisions.
There is no ideal age to begin seeing a geriatric specialist. A geriatrician can be of assistance if you:
- Multiple medical issues are affecting you
- Determine that treatment for one ailment negatively affects a second ailment
- Have functional decline or physical frailty
- Have an age-related condition, such as Alzheimer’s, incontinence, or osteoporosis
- Manage various medications (especially if they’re generating undesirable side effects that impair your health).
Choosing a Geriatrician
Consider the following criteria while selecting a geriatrician:
- Ask if the geriatrician has acquired any further certificates or training. Note whether he or she is linked with an academic medical center, which typically provides patients with the most recent medical advancements.
- Ensure that the practice accepts your insurance plan. Learn the geriatrician’s office hours, who you will communicate with after hours, and how he or she handles medical emergencies. Inquire also whether the geriatrician offers home care services.
- Determine how the geriatrician coordinates with specialists such as cardiologists, pulmonologists, and neurologists in terms of communication. Also inquire as to whether he or she prefers phone calls, electronic portals, or face-to-face interactions.
- Philosophy: Ensure that you and your geriatrician are on the same page regarding your health objectives, keeping in mind that these objectives may alter over time. Also inquire as to what other programs or services the individual may offer. Some geriatricians provide programs for healthy aging, such as fitness courses and fall-prevention instruction.