“Geriatric care” refers to the specialised health and wellness services for the elderly. Dr. Mehta’s leading multi-speciality hospitals in Chennai have extensive expertise in the care of elderly patients and their families.
The Parents and other ageing relatives who are senior citizens may require specialised Geriatric medical care. Geriatric patients require not only medicines but need additional care like rehabilitation, proper nutrition and counselling to maintain good health and wellness. Effective geriatric care needs coordination between health care staff, doctors and caregivers. They help manage their elders’ health conditions and provide a safe, happy medical space for them.
Many health issues come up or increase as a result of old age. The health problems are frequently worsened in geriatric patients by further losses in physical or mental abilities. It usually leads to gradual deterioration of the health condition. Of the patients.
Geriatric medicine and geriatric care management are two forms of geriatrics care operate together to treat these problems and maintain good health.
About Geriatric Care
Geriatric care means the care provided to the older persons which include the diagnosis and treatment of the illness, Rehabilitation to improve his functional status, prevention of diseases and their complications. Geriatric medicine is a subspecialty of internal medicine, and geriatricians adopt a holistic approach in the treatment of elderly patients including physical, psychological and social problems.
- Geriatric doctors watch for the common Geriatric syndromes in addition to treating particular diseases in their patients, such as:
- Delirium – confusion or re-occurring mental disruptions
- Memory Problem – decline in memory or judgment
- Repeated Falls – the cause of fatal and non-fatal injury in seniors
- Urinary Incontinence – the inability to control the urination
- Polypharmacy – possible negative interactions between drugs
- Immobility or restricted mobility leads to dependency.
Components of Geriatric Care
In our society, generally, the family members are the caregivers for the senior patients, although professional home care is also available when required. Regardless of who is in charge of the care, there are a lot of details to keep track of daily, including:
- Meals – diet supervision and scheduling
- Medications – up-to-date lists and schedules
- Socialization – keeping the patient away from isolation
- Prevention of complications – understanding symptoms that could need attention
- Our doctors also pay attention to the emotional needs of elderly patients and their families as they adjust to the need for additional healthcare.
Why Has Geriatric Care Become Important?
Elderly people suffer from multiple comorbidities and hence face health challenges that they didn’t experience at a younger age. Sensory systems start to fail, resulting in blurry vision, loss of hearing, and dizziness. The clinical presentation of illness is complex in older patients and needs Geriatric physicians (specialists in elderly care) for early identification of the health problem and appropriate management.
Degenerative Neurological problems like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia etc. commonly begin in old age or worsen. Daily activities become increasingly exhausting, and sick days become more common. Maintaining health and fitness generally takes a lot more effort. Geriatric care aims to maintain the functional independence of older people.
Geriatric people are susceptible to a variety of illnesses and disorders. They develop an acute illness like an infection such as pneumonia or urinary tract infection, Electrolyte disturbances, etc. Chronic conditions such as arthritis, spondylitis, Heart failure, COPD, osteoporosis & Fractures, dementia, depression etc. are also encountered and they require long term care and follow up. long-term illnesses that geriatrics must manage as best they can with some good medical treatment. Finally, there are new disorders that often arise as people get older, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Prostate enlargement with urinary disturbances.
The life expectancy of Indians is gradually increasing and people live longer. The average life expectancy for Indian men is 67.5 years and for Indian women is 69.8 years. However, they suffer from multiple comorbid diseases. Hence living longer means living with diseases and suffering thus compromising the Quality of Life. Unless special attention is provided to maintain fitness (physical & mental health) in the elderly they become partially or completely dependent on others. So, the aim of every senior citizen should be to achieve successful ageing & Functional autonomy.
Common Geriatric Health Issues
Specialists refer to the most common forms of disabilities that show in the age, especially as they get more fragile, as “geriatric giants.” Immobility, incontinence, instability/Falls and poor mental function/Cognition are just a few of them. These are all frequent clinical presentations in the elderly. The effects may be adverse, not just to the patient but also to their caretakers.
This condition occurs when a person’s bladder loses control and the urine leaks involuntarily. This is embarrassing and usually lead to social isolation and depression if left untreated. It is more common in elderly patients, especially women. Incontinence can be effectively cured or controlled when proper evaluation and treatment is provided by a Geriatrician. Incontinence symptoms aren’t always related to a person’s ability to control their bowel movements. Mobility and walking problems make it difficult for the elderly to get around and help themselves. Geriatric persons find it difficult to get to the bathroom on time due to arthritic pain or medication side effects. Urinary incontinence is a severe problem that should be consulted by a geriatric doctor.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone tissue is lost with age, resulting in weak bones. Osteoporosis increases the risk of broken bones, especially in the hip and wrist, after a fall.
Women are the people who suffer more from osteoporosis and the complications of falls. Women over the age of 50 are far more likely than males to have an osteoporosis-related fracture over their lifetime.
The purpose of geriatrics medical treatment for osteoporosis is to prevent or stop bone loss while also choosing the appropriate pain management. A geriatrician can diagnose osteoporosis and suggest recommendations to patients for better bone health. Our geriatrics experts give medical guidance on healthy eating and exercise to help you manage your illness.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. In the absence of cushioning, bones can become painful and swollen when the cartilage between bones begins to break away with age.
Hands, knees, hips, lower back, and neck are the most common area for osteoarthritis. Pain can range from mild to severe. This disease affects anybody at any age, it is most common in those in their 50s. Women are more affected than males, just as they are with osteoporosis.
Geriatric doctors diagnose this condition by an evaluation of symptoms, a thorough physical exam, and, if needed, by further imaging (X Rays, CT scan) and lab testing. When arthritis becomes severe enough to restrict ambulation, referral to orthopaedic surgeons is done for appropriate surgical care like joint Replacement (Total Knee Replacement, Total Hip Replacement).
This is a progressive brain disease that causes a decline in memory and other brain functions. Memory loss and confusion are the main symptoms but the changes in their behaviour are often noticed by the family members which make them seek medical care.
Parkinson’s disease is a mobility condition caused by a neural system disorder. Symptoms occur slowly since the disease is chronic. The classical symptoms are Tremors, Muscle Rigidity, slowness in activity and postural imbalance.
In the early stage of this disease, the patient’s facial expression may get affected. Walking and daily activities are difficult due to a loss of balance. Parkinson’s disease symptoms get worse as the disease develops inside the patient.
For Parkinson’s disease, there is no one test. Symptoms and an examination are commonly used to make an initial diagnosis in geriatrics care. While Parkinson’s disease has no cure, some medicines can help treat the health conditions.
Health and Wellness for Geriatrics
Living with old age requires more than just controlling medicines. Several non-medical issues, particularly emotional factors, helps in supporting the geriatric patient healthiest. The ability to be socially engaged and connected to family and loved ones is especially essential for elderly patients. Isolation can be just as dangerous as physical sickness when one’s health is failing. According to research, loneliness is as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
The patient’s family and home environment are important factors to consider while treating a geriatric patient. Managing the patient’s symptoms and providing daily living activities, such as food, exercise, and social connections, all make a significant contribution to the elderly’s mental well-being. With our treatment, counselling, medical advice and geriatric care services, the family is able to overcome such medical issues.
Why choose Dr. Mehta’s Hospitals?
It’s important to seek health specialists who can help the entire family manage the challenges of caring for their senior loved ones while seeking medical treatment for geriatric patients.
Many of the medical conditions and symptoms that our senior loved one faces may now be treated more effectively than before. Diagnostics, treatment, medicines, and patient health awareness can help to relieve the pain and suffering while regaining stability and confidence in caregivers. Dr. Mehta’s best multi-speciality hospitals geriatric doctor’s expertise help elderly people counter the effects of ageing carefully and with compassion.