Geriatric medicine is the specialty that deals with all aspects of health and illness in the elderly. It involves the clinical, social, psychological, preventative and rehabilitative aspects of health care. Independence and quality of life issues are important concerns that are dealt with by geriatricians.
Elderly people generally want to live independently as long as possible and information and referrals for community services to enable this are available. For those people who require hostel or nursing home accommodation, the doctor is able provide a medical assessment and facilitate this process.
Disorders related to ageing and dementing illnesses are complex medical areas that require the expertise of an experienced geriatrician.
Common conditions geriatricians treat:
- Falls and balance management
- Memory loss, mood swings and personality change
- Dementia, delirium and BPSD management
- Nutrition, weight loss and swallowing difficulty
- Acute and chronic pain management
- Perioperative risk assessment as well as investigation and management of undiagnosed conditions