For an older adult, an ache or pain can have far-reaching effects, bringing additional concerns that are specific to their age. For example, a new knee pain can bring worry about reduced mobility and loss of independence or worsening existing illnesses.
If an older man has knee pain, he’s thinking about a lot more than just the pain. He’s thinking this might be the end of things as he knows them. He fears he’ll have to move, go into a nursing home or never see his dog again. That’s when a geriatrician can help.
Geriatricians are medical doctors who specialize in meeting the unique health care needs of older adults, including:
• Developing health care plans that are specific to older adults.
• Treating complicated conditions that are common with older adults, including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, urinary problems, erectile disorder, cancer, depression and memory loss.
• Empathizing with older adult concerns, often anticipating what they think and feel when discussing how medical conditions will affect their lives.
• Providing a streamlined approach for working with specialists, a common need as older adults develop more health conditions as they age.
• Reducing the risk of adverse drug effects and drug interactions. Older adults typically take multiple medications. Aging bodies process and store medicine differently than younger bodies. Lack of proper understanding and monitoring could bring on complications.
While geriatrician’s help patients age gracefully, there are steps older adults can take towards living a healthy lifestyle. Learn more from our previous post, The Practice of Geriatrics – Six Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle.