When Should I See a Geriatric Physician?

elderly couple sitting on a couchAs you age, your medical needs change. You may wonder about how to best retain good bone health, recognize possible cognitive changes, or whether your medications are causing unwanted side effects. A geriatric physician has the education and training needed to address older patients’ specialized needs.

What is a geriatric physician?

Geriatric physicians specialize in senior health, including the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disabilities and diseases. They work to help older patients maintain their function throughout the aging process.

Geriatricians are board-certified in family or internal medicine and have additional training to give them expertise in treating older adults. In addition, they have earned the Certificate of Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine.

When should I see a geriatric physician?

A geriatric physician can help any patient over age 65 by preventing and treating healthcare issues such as:

  • If you take multiple medications

As people age, they tend to take more types of medication. Each medicine can cause side effects on an individual basis, and when they interact with one another, this can cause additional issues.

When you’re older, your body absorbs and metabolizes medications differently. Many drugs stay in your body much longer, which prolongs their effect and increases the risk of side effects. Older people are also more sensitive to the effects of many medications.

  • If you have multiple medical problems

If you’re suffering from arthritis and depression, improving your mobility and level of pain may help you feel better and be more active, which can help with depression.

Geriatricians have specialized knowledge in treating patients who have multiple medical problems and understanding how these ailments can collectively affect your physical and emotional health. They also have experience and training in recognizing and treating common health problems that are associated with aging.

  • If you’re concerned about or have noticed cognitive decline

It’s normal to have some mental decline as you age. But it can be difficult for a patient or caregiver to distinguish between the normal signs of aging and symptoms that could indicate the presence of common conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or depression.

Geriatricians can provide information to help you and any caregivers recognize the signs of more serious cognitive decline. They can provide a diagnosis as well as treatment and support for the condition.

You’d like to discuss an aging plan

An evaluation from a geriatric physician can help determine how well you perform everyday tasks and whether you may need help. Your geriatrician can evaluate your living situation and offer you and any caregivers suggestions on services/modifications that can make living at home safer and more comfortable.

They can also help you decide if and when to consider an alternative such as assisted living.

If you’d like to find out more about how a geriatric physician can help you age in the best way possible book an appointment with Tri-County Medical Clinic today.

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