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What Is a Geriatric Doctor?

Geriatric physician with patient

(Also Referred to as a Geriatric Physician)

By 2050, the 65 and older population is projected to be close to 87 million. The 75 and older population is projected to be close to 49 million and the number of people age 85 and older is projected to increase to 7.3 million in 2020. Source: Alliance for Aging Research

What is a Geriatrician (Geriatric Doctor)?

If you are getting older and having more health problems you may want to consider seeing a doctor who specializes in geriatric medicine.

A geriatrician is a physician who has completed a residency in either Internal Medicine or Family Medicine with an additional one or two year fellowship training in the medical, social, and psychological issues that concern older adults. This specialty is increasing in importance as the population ages and that aging population lives longer.

People over the age of 85 are the fast growing segment of the population. It is no longer a rarity for people to live to be one hundred. A geriatrician is a doctor who specializes in care for people 65 and older. Just as a pediatrician tends to the needs of a child, a geriatrician cares for the special needs of changing seniors. Geriatricians approach each patientís needs individually, and possess the knowledge and expertise needed to accommodate seniors.

They are typically board certified in Internal Medicine and have additional training in areas pertaining to elder care. They can better address issues such as memory loss, arthritis, osteoporosis, mobility and Alzheimerís disease. Clearly, geriatrics includes more than treating physical problems; it means recognizing how health conditions affect seniors socially and emotionally, and vice versa. Seniors often associate age with disease. Yet, aging does not cause diseases. While many seniors believe that the reason they are not feeling well is because they are getting older, this is not always the case. The problems they are experiencing may be related to an illness or injury not at all caused by age. This is why it is important to seek the helpful knowledge of a geriatrician.

What is a Geriatrician?

This type of physician practice far exceeds simply diagnosing a physical problem and treating it. Geriatricians collect information about patientsí lifestyles, community, family, and their entire medical history.

The most appropriate term for a physician who specializes in the care of older adults is geriatrician, not gerontologist.  A gerontologist is generally a non-physician, though physicians who focus on aging research can also be considered gerontologists.

Geriatrician Summary:

A Geriatrician studies the aging process and helps care for elderly patients. A geriatrician is also concerned with treating and preventing dementia. A geriatrician aims to promote the health in older adults by preventing and treating diseases and disabilities. Geriatricians provide individualized care based on the unique needs of the patient and are able to distinguish between diseases and the effects of normal ageing. Functional abilities, independence, and quality of life issues are of great concern to geriatricians and their patients.

Geriatrician Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is a Geriatrician?

A Geriatrician is a professional who studies the aging process. A Geriatrician also studies how to prevent diseases. One of the biggest issues for a Geriatrician is to prevent and treat dementia.

  • Who should visit a Geriatrician?

Older people who have an increase in health problems should seek help from a Geriatrician.

  • Where does a Geriatrician work?

A Geriatrician can work in an elderly facility, a hospital, a clinic, or in private practice.

  • What is the difference between a Geriatrician and a Gerontologist?

A Geriatrician treats and prevents the ill-effects of aging while a Gerontologist simply studies the aging process itself.

Source: http://aging.uams.edu

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