Growing older is a natural part of life, and as you age, your needs and habits may change. As you advance into your 60s or 70s, you may find yourself struggling with chronic disease or mobility issues.
Luckily, there are plenty of primary health physicians who specialize in helping seniors deal with the challenges of aging. Maybe you’re caring for an aging parent or another older adult. If so, you know that this requires specialized knowledge that is not covered in general nursing courses.
Here, a geriatric doctor can help guide you through some of the more challenging aspects of caregiving for an older adult.
Read on to learn more about geriatricians and why they can be so helpful when it comes to aging issues.
Who is a Geriatrician?
A geriatric doctor is a family care doctor who is a specialist in the field of medicine that deals with the health of older adults. Geriatricians are trained to diagnose and treat the unique problems that can occur in older adults. These include Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
They also help their patients to manage the effects of aging, such as frailty and declining mental abilities. Geriatricians often work closely with other health care providers like nurses and social workers. This way, they can provide comprehensive care for their patients.
5 Benefits of Seeing a Geriatric Doctor
Here are some benefits of seeing a geriatrician:
Help seniors manage chronic conditions
Many seniors have chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Geriatricians can help seniors manage their chronic conditions and stay healthy. They can also provide guidance on how to prevent complications from chronic conditions.
Help seniors stay independent
As we age, we may need help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Geriatricians can help seniors stay independent by providing guidance on how to stay active and healthy. They can also provide referrals to services that can help seniors stay independent, such as home health care.
Help seniors prevent falls
Falls are a common problem among seniors. They can cause serious injuries, such as fractures and head injuries. Geriatricians can help seniors prevent falls by assessing their risk factors and providing guidance on how to reduce their risk. They can also refer seniors to services that can help them prevent falls, such as physical therapy and home safety assessments.
Help Seniors stay connected
As we age, we may lose touch with our friends and family. Geriatricians can help seniors stay connected by providing referrals to social services and community resources. They can also provide guidance on how to stay active and engaged in their community.
Why Are Geriatricians So Important?
Geriatricians are a key component in the health care system. They have the expertise to care for many different types of conditions that may be more common among older people. These include hypertension and diabetes.
Moreso, geriatricians also have experience working with patients on managing chronic diseases, like heart disease and kidney disease, as well as issues related to aging, like loss of independence.
There are several reasons why geriatricians are so important:
- They can help older people stay active and healthy. By taking their medications properly and following a healthy diet, they can reduce their risk of developing certain diseases and complications. They can also help them stay mentally alert and able to participate in daily activities.
- They can provide valuable insight into the changing health needs of older people. As society ages, there will be an increased demand for both medical professionals and caregivers. Geriatricians are well-equipped to meet that need.
- They can offer support for family members who may be needed to take on more responsibilities as their loved ones age. For example, you find that you or your loved one is struggling with eating or drinking on their own.
In this case, you may want to consider hiring a caregiver to help. A geriatrician can help you navigate this process and find the right care option for you or your loved one.
What Are the Most Common Conditions in Elderly Adults?
There are many health conditions that are common in elderly adults. The six most common health conditions are arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory disease. These conditions can lead to a decline in health and quality of life.
Arthritis is a common health condition in elderly adults. It is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the joints. Arthritis can make it difficult to do everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or even getting out of a chair.
Arthritis comes in many different forms, but the most common is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease caused by the deterioration of the cartilage in the joints, which can lead to joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common health condition in elderly adults. When the blood pressure in the arteries is too high, it is known as high blood pressure or hypertension.
When you put too much strain on your organs, it can lead to some serious health problems down the road. They include heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
Hypertension is often called the “silent killer” because, unfortunately, it often has no symptoms. That is why it is important for elderly adults to get their blood pressure checked regularly.
Heart disease is a common health condition in elderly adults. When the heart muscle is damaged, it doesn’t work as well as it should. This can lead to heart failure.
Having heart problems can be very dangerous and lead to serious health complications such as a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, it is important to take care of your heart and watch out for any warning signs.
There are many different types of heart disease, but the most common type is coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is a serious problem that occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become blocked or narrowed. This can cause a heart attack, which can be fatal.
Diabetes is a common health condition in elderly adults. It occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone vital for converting glucose into accessible energy for the body.
Diabetes can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness. Diabetes comes in two types: type 1 and type 2. The former is the kind you mostly get as a kid, while the latter is the kind that generally shows up later in life.
Cancer is a common health condition in elderly adults that occurs when cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer can lead to serious health problems such as pain, fatigue, and weight loss.
There are many different types of cancer, but the most common ones include breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer. Cancer is, unfortunately, the second leading cause of death in America.
Respiratory disease is a common health condition in elderly adults. It occurs when the lungs are damaged and don’t work as well as they should. This can lead to serious health problems such as shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.
There are many different types of respiratory disease, but the most common type is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a serious disease that can make it difficult to breathe.
It’s the third leading cause of death in the United States, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and get treatment if you think you may have it.
The six most common health conditions in elderly adults are arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory disease.
These conditions can lead to a decline in health and quality of life. That is why it is important for elderly adults to see their doctor regularly and to get screened for these conditions.
A geriatrician can help you care for an aging loved one by navigating issues such as vision loss, sleep issues, and cognitive decline.