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What is a Geriatrician?

What is a Geriatrician? – Andrea Leavitt

In each stage of life we benefit from experts in a particular field.

From the medical perspective, we are followed by a pediatrician in our early years who addresses our primary needs.  Once an adult, our care is directed by our primary care physician and we are assessed by a specialist as needed.  If you have a heart matter you will see a cardiologist.  The pulmonologist will address respiratory issues, the orthopedists are experts in bones and joints, the dermatologist will keep our skin healthy and an oncologist knows the most about beating cancer.

So what about when you reach advanced age?  Specific needs and complications involved in aging are different than those of younger folks.  Seniors require a different medical approach.  One that is comprehensive and personalized.

Who is the best fit?  A geriatrician.

They act as the team captain on behalf of the elder, enlisting specialists as needed in addition to ancillary professionals such as home health and hospice providers, geriatric care managers, facility nursing staff, etc.

AgeWise Geriatrician header

These physicians are knowledgeable of conditions and diseases commonly experienced by the elderly and often occurring simultaneously.  They are aware of how medications can impact older patients as it may be different than the younger patient.  It is vital to have one physician giving consideration to all the seniors needs; having the big picture could prevent medication errors and missed diagnosis/treatments.AgeWise Polypharmacy

This recent article from the New York Times succinctly articulates the risks of ‘polypharmacy’ for our elders: The Dangers of ‘Polypharmacy,’ the Ever-Mounting Pile of Pills

Geriatricians serve as the primary care physician (internal medicine) who has additional training to become certified in geriatrics.  In addition to assessing medical needs, they will give consideration to their appearance, mobility, cognition and mood.  They may also address difficult subjects like driving safety and end of life decision making.

Does everyone over 65 need a geriatrician?  Not necessarily.

For those who have multiple or chronic diagnosis or experiencing an unexplained decline in health, working with a geriatrician is in your best interest.

Geriatricians are compassionate physicians who care about preserving dignity and independence as well as honoring family wishes.  It may take some time to get an appointment so it’s best to do your research early.  Here are some resources which will assist you in your research:

www.americangeriatrics.org

www.healthinaging.org/

 

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2015-08-30T22:40:53+00:00
“AgeWise has the gift of striking just the correct and proper balance between caring, being your client's advocate, and yet effecting change in a professional manner for the children who live at a distance.“
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“I’ve worked closely with the AgeWise team in my role as private duty care manager/Apartment nurse at a retirement community. Because of the competent and compassionate service they provide, I highly recommend them to you and would personally use them if my family member needed care management.”
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2015-08-30T22:42:03+00:00
“AgeWise staff have been a delight to work with for a number of years. They have been integral team members in caring for four senior adults in my family. They have dealt with difficult situations with intelligence and sensitivity. We know we can count on them to assess needs ranging from Alzheimer's care to end of life issues and help provide compassionate solutions. AgeWise staff have gone above and beyond to assist my family.”
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“AgeWise was a godsend. They are very knowledgeable and skilled in working with people with mental health issues. She did a super job holding my family member's and my hand throughout the process. She was very sensitive to managing the cost of her services and at the same time delivered excellent value. AgeWise exceeded my expectations.”
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“Again, I am so impressed with the services you are offering and the way you impact lives. You have a calming, caring, confident, and very real spirit that makes the difficult conversations easier. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”