The geriatric management field, despite the huge demand, is currently lacking a sizeable workforce. After all, only a few are willing to work as caretakers of the elderly since it can be such a toil. However, it is necessary to provide proper healthcare to senior citizens as much as one would to younger people.
Geriatrics: Treatment of the Elderly
Geriatrics is a medical field that deals with managing and treating the diseases of the elderly. With the improvement of healthcare, people now have a longer lifespan as most diseases that kill the young become treatable with medicine and other medical techniques. In case you are wondering, there is no specific age at which a person should fall under the supervision of a geriatrician, a physician specializing in providing healthcare to the elderly, instead, it depends on an individual’s needs. Overall, the main goals of geriatrics are to promote elderly health and to prevent and treat diseases and disorders.
The Geriatric Team
You may wonder, “Who are the professionals that work in a geriatric setting?” For that question, the answer is that professionals who work as a team in the field of geriatrics include a geriatrician, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, and psychiatrists. A geriatrician necessarily has to be a doctor that is board-certified in either Internal Medicine or Family Medicine, who then specializes in geriatrics. Also, nutritionists and social workers may participate in treatment for certain situations.
The Four Geriatric Giants
Geriatrics typically deals with four main problems, often called the geriatric giants. These include immobility, instability, incontinence, and impaired intellect or memory. These usually have something to do with common chronic problems among older people, such as hearing loss. For example, it can lead to dependence, depression, and social isolation as the person would have a more difficult time communicating with other people. Another would be impaired vision, as it can increase the likelihood of older people to fall over, mismanage finances, and take medicine incorrectly.
Coming Up With Solutions
The geriatrics team should evaluate several aspects of a patient’s life, to come up with a plan for treatment. These include examining social support from family members and other members of the community. Also, considering the patient’s independence or capabilities to take care of him or herself is a crucial part of the evaluation. An example would be whether a patient can meet basic needs including dressing up, eating, and taking a bath. Afterwards, the team would formulate a conclusion and a treatment plan.
Quality of Life in the Elderly
Besides treating illnesses, the team should also ensure that they maintain patients’ quality of life. After all, there is little point in living if a person merely survives without being able to act on their own. Thus, various elder care options, such as assisted living, hospice, and nursing facilities are available. If you or someone that you know requires a form of geriatric care, you should take a quick look at Geriatric Care Management San Diego County, as they offer the best services available.
With the world’s improving medical services, people can now live longer. As such, the ratio of independents to dependents is slowly dropping in number. Thus, geriatric care exists to provide the elderly medical treatments and interventions, as well as assisted living services.