Senior Care Blog

Geriatric Medicine Doctors: What a Geriatric Specialist Does

By Lenay Ruhl (Guest Blogger),

What a Geriatric Specialist Does | Senior Care | Home Helpers Bradenton FL

It might have been a long time ago, but at one point or another you made the transition from going to a pediatric doctor and started seeing a general practice physician. That’s because you outgrew the personality and focus of a pediatric practice. Now, years later, it’s time to transition to the next phase of your medical journey – geriatrics. Geriatric medicine doctors focus on the healthcare treatment of patients who are 65 years of age or older. They’re highly skilled in treating this specific population of people and can help guide the elderly through the many expected and unexpected changes as they age. Not only do they diagnose and treat their patients, but they also play a critical role in providing emotional support. Here are three examples of what a geriatric specialist does and why you can benefit from seeing one:

What a Geriatric Specialist Does

1.      Understands the health issues the elderly face

Geriatric medicine doctors are specially trained in taking care of the elderly and in understanding all of the various health issues that people face as they age. In addition to completing medical school, they have to get board certified and complete a fellowship in geriatrics in order to work geriatric physician jobs. A general physician can provide adequate care for the common cold but a geriatric specialist is going to recognize if your symptoms might actually indicate a larger issue. Since they are there for the elderly day in and day out, they can easier identify illnesses that impact that age group.

2.      Helps to manage medications

A huge part of geriatric medicine is in managing various medications. What a geriatric specialist does is know what medicines conflict with others. They can safely treat you for all of your various illnesses while knowing how each diagnosis and treatment might interfere with the others. They can also help you to manage your medication – how to adjust your doses, tips for remembering to take your pills and even finding the brand that insurance covers the most.

3.      Designs care plans

Geriatric medicine doctors not only understand your unique health issues and struggles with medication management, but they also know how complicated the healthcare system can be. Along with a team of nurses, social workers and aides, they work to design a care plan that is specific to your needs. They can help you navigate the healthcare system, from finding specialists outside of geriatrics to arranging bloodwork and additional lab tests. This hands-on care is extremely beneficial and helps the elderly to keep a strong hold on their health.

There’s a Shortage of Doctors Specializing in Elderly Care

Depending on where you live, it can be challenging to find geriatric medicine doctors, because there’s a growing shortage of doctors specializing in elderly care. For example, the American Geriatrics Society predicts that the United States will be short more than 23,000 geriatricians by 2030. There are several reasons for this, such as an aging population and low pay for this specialty. However, do not give up the search. Many will tell you that it’s worth the hunt to find a doctor who is specially trained to care for your needs. The relationship built is rewarding for both physician and patient, and geriatric medicine doctors play an important role in the lives of the aging.

Aside from geriatric medicine doctors, there are various treatment options available for the elderly, including home care. Contact Home Helpers today to find the ideal care option for you in Bradenton, FL and surrounding areas.