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Geriatrics/Geriatric Medicine

What is geriatrics?

Geriatrics is a specialty in medicine dedicated to providing care for older adults. Physicians in this field are specifically trained to diagnose and treat the illnesses and diseases commonly affecting this age group.

A physician who has specialized in geriatric medicine is known as a geriatrician.

Who should see a geriatrician?

While there is no specific age at which someone can see a geriatrician, most patients are 75 or older. In addition, many patients who benefit from a doctor trained in geriatrics may have ailments such as:

  • impaired physical function
  • chronic illnesses
  • depression or anxiety
  • impaired memory or cognitive function
  • urinary incontinence
  • problems with recurrent falls or balance

Why is geriatrics important to healthcare?

Geriatrics is important to healthcare because it is a specialty focused on older adults. As the body ages, its physiology changes, which can cause many people to experience chronic illnesses or react differently to medication. A geriatrician is trained to recognize conditions specific to older adults, offering better healthcare outcomes and experiences.

Geriatrics is also better able to support individuals who take multiple drugs to treat health conditions. Geriatricians are trained to watch for drug interactions while also considering the patient’s age, which helps prevent drug misuse and the unpleasant complications that may result.