GERIATRICS AND GERIATRIC CARE, EXPLAINED
Why and where to turn to geriatrics specialty care
Did you know there’s an entire branch of medicine dedicated to older adults? Learn why geriatric care is so important for elderly patients, and where to find it — from geriatrics home health care to senior living communities.
What is geriatric care?
In short, geriatric medicine – or simply, geriatrics – is a branch of medicine focused on older adults.
Aging comes with some typical health issues, as we become more prone to certain illnesses and risks. Geriatrics specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating these health conditions in older patients.
Geriatric healthcare professionals include:
- Primary care doctors
- Physician assistants and pharmacists
- Case managers and consultants (see below)
In addition to medical services, there are often non-medical aspects to geriatric care. For instance, it can include home care services like personal care, meal preparation, and more.
What is a geriatrics case manager or consultant?
Many older patients rely on geriatrics case managers (sometimes called geriatrics consultants) to coordinate and connect them with the right care.
Usually, these case managers are a geriatrics social worker or nurse. Like the other specialists on a patient’s team, they’re trained in the specific needs of older adults. Plus, they have special knowledge about the community resources available to support older patients.
How old do you have to be?
There’s no set age for geriatrics patients. Why? Basically, everybody ages differently—so one person may experience age-related health issues earlier than another.
As a result, some patients start seeing a geriatric primary care physician around age 65, while others wait until their 70s or even 80s.
Where can you access this type of care?
Of course, geriatrics patients can receive services in several places.
- The doctor’s office: With a geriatric primary care doctor
- At home: Through geriatric home health care services
- Long-term care facilities: Includes assisted-living centers, nursing homes and certain senior living communities
- Adult daycare facilities
- Hospitals and long-term care hospitals
Looking for memory care? Here’s a guide to dementia care services for elderly patients, and a checklist to help your search.
Do senior living communities offer this type of care?
In many cases, yes.
Continuing care retirement communities like the Masonic Homes of California and Acacia Creek have geriatrics experts on staff.
So does the Pavilion at the Masonic Homes, an assisted living and memory care community. Above all, our person-centered philosophy of care offers residents the chance to live their best life safely — and with a helping hand when needed.
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