Old age can be trickier than it seems. No matter how tough an exterior they keep, a person gets weaker as they get older. Elderly people need to be treated with a bit more precision and sensitivity. Their bones, muscles, and almost every system in their bodies need a little more care. Also, the stakes are much higher for doctors treating elderly patients.
This is why it is important to know the benefits of geriatric care for elderly people’s health.
Before understanding why it is important to keep the senior citizens in your family healthy, let us quickly understand what geriatric care is.
What Is Geriatric Care?
Just like pediatric care revolves around children’s health complications, geriatric care is the medical field that deals with the health issues faced by elderly patients. It involves diagnosing, treating, and preventing health complications most commonly associated with old age. Geriatric care also deals with conventional illnesses with respect to older patients.
Such medical care is offered by geriatricians. A geriatrician is often a general physician who specializes in treating elderly patients. Many people have geriatricians as their family doctors to look after the elderly members of their families. If you are looking for such help, you can simply do a Google search like general physicians near me and look for the right expertise.
Geriatrics involves providing elderly patients with diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and rehabilitative. Geriatricians ensure that ill patients are treated well and healthy patients do not fall ill. This area of medicine deals requires a lot of love, patience, and genuine care for the patients. The importance of geriatric care lies in the fact that it lets the older members of your family lead healthy and fulfilling lives. As people get older, they value sound health and happiness more than any materialistic desire! Geriatricians help their patients attain just that!
Common Health Conditions Tackled By Geriatricians
Apart from a few issues that emerge with old age, a geriatrician is often trained in handling all conventional health conditions tackled by general physicians. Now that we know what geriatric care is and who geriatricians are, let us have a look at the most common health complications tackled by these professionals:
- Cardiovascular conditions
- High blood pressure
- Dementia and other cognitive issues
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vision and hearing loss
- Body balance issues
Apart from diagnosing and treating health issues, geriatricians also provide personalized counseling to their patients. Elderly people often approach these healthcare professionals to get lifestyle tips, understand their health insurance plans, manage their medical budgets, and other relevant issues. It is safe to say that these doctors become extended family members for the elderly.
What Responsibilities Are Associated With Geriatric Care?
Depending on the patient’s requirements, a geriatric doctor may visit them or call them to their hospital. If a patient needs long-term nursing, these healthcare professionals also offer home nursing services to their patients.
Here are a few major responsibilities associated with geriatric care:
- Supervising the patient’s health and helping them make the right lifestyle choices
- Conducting extensive physical examinations to determine/confirm specific health complications
- Analyzing reports of tests conducted by third parties and giving patients the right advice
- Treating the patient in the most suitable way possible
- Prescribing over-the-counter or specialized medications according to the patient’s condition
- Creating a safe environment for elderly patients to express themselves freely
- Making the senior citizens feel comfortable and confident throughout the medical care offered
- Providing all necessary amenities at the hospital and catering to the patient’s needs until they leave the premises
- Helping the patient establish a healthy routine
- Monitoring and regulating the patient’s diet
- Making periodic follow-ups to ensure that the patient is recovering
Benefits of Geriatric Health for Elderly People’s Health
You may ask, “Why should I approach a geriatrician when any specialized doctor is capable of handling the case?” Geriatric care is designed keeping elderly patients in mind, making it the most suitable alternative for such patients.
Let’s understand this by exploring the major benefits of geriatric health for elderly people’s health:
Specialized Medical Attention
The branch of geriatric care is dedicated to older patients. The doctors, nurses, and all paramedical staff give specialized medical attention to the older patients. When an entire team of healthcare professionals designs medical care for you, it will have a positive influence on your recovery.
Not all doctors help younger patients manage their medications regularly. When it comes to geriatric care, doctors help elderly patients keep track of their medicines. Depending on every patient’s health, a geriatrician will not only prescribe the right medicines but also ensure that they take them on time. Many family doctors follow up with their patients and remind them of the medicines they should take.
It is common for elderly people to take medicines regularly for the rest of their lives. Under such circumstances, geriatricians help their patients prepare a schedule for taking their medicines and make them follow the same religiously.
A lot of geriatric care is about preventing elderly people from encountering health complications. Along with treating patients, geriatricians ensure that elderly people remain healthy. Most family doctors advise their older patients to follow a healthy diet, lead a healthy lifestyle, and continue taking specific medications (if needed and prescribed) to keep health complications at bay. Geriatric care follows a holistic approach to providing elderly people with medical care.
Many elderly patients develop long-lasting relationships with their geriatricians. This gives them someone to lean on whenever they encounter health complications. Moreover, building long-term relationships makes the doctors familiar with their patient’s medical history. There are several cases of people growing old with the same general physicians looking after their health. This gives them a sense of trust and security while seeking medical care.
Mental Health Support
Geriatric care is not limited to tackling physical illnesses. It also involves looking after elderly patients’ mental health. Old age is rightly referred to as “second childhood.” People tend to get more impulsive in the decisions they make. Many senior citizens develop issues like anxiety, depression, mood disorders, etc. that need to be controlled to ensure their well-being. Geriatricians tend to all such complications and help elderly people stay mentally healthy.
Personalized Medical Counseling
Especially if they have developed a strong relationship with their patient, a geriatrician is likely to provide personalized medical counseling to senior citizens. As people grow old, they fail to catch up with time and keep track of things around them. Unless they have the support of their loved ones, they may find themselves lost in making the right healthcare decisions. Under such circumstances, they can simply approach their geriatricians who will guide them every step of the way.
Whether an elderly person is suffering from an illness or not, what they eat every day is critical to their health. Geriatricians keep track of their patients’ diets and give them personalized nutritional guidance. From everything they should eat to everything they should refrain from eating, these doctors help their patients maintain the most suitable diet plan according to their conditions. For example, a geriatrician will give a diabetic patient aged 70 a strict diet plan that limits the sugar they can consume in a day.
Home Nursing and Doctor on Call Services
Most elderly patients find it difficult to venture out of their homes to visit hospitals. Understanding this difficulty, geriatricians often provide services like home nursing services to their patients. Home nursing services involve a team of doctor’s assistants and trained nursing staff to cater to a patient’s health by visiting their home. Whether they need short-term or long-term medical care, the team stays at their home and ensures that the elderly patient gets better.
Doctor on Call services are designed to remove geographical barriers and provide seamless consultations without asking elderly patients to visit geriatricians. Here, a patient is connected to their doctor via audio or video calls. Technological advancements have also made it possible for doctors to use healthcare software tools to measure their patients’ heart rate, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, and other vitals.
When geriatricians provide these services to their patients, elderly people receive comprehensive medical care without leaving their houses. Senior citizens often feel the best when they are surrounded by their loved ones, increasing the efficacy of the care provided to them.
Have Access to Experienced Geriatricians from Your Home with Docville
If an elderly member of your family needs medical guidance, Docville gives them access to skilled and experienced geriatricians from the comfort of their home. Our general physicians offer seamless Doctor on Call and home nursing services to make healthcare more convenient for elderly patients. We understand the struggles that accompany old age and do our best to offer quality medical care to all our clients. With Docville, the elderly patient in your family will recover without placing a foot outside their home!