A geriatrician is a doctor who specialises in care of the elderly and the diseases that affect them. The approach tends to be wholistic and involves a multidisciplinary team. The geriatrician concentrates on managing the medical conditions affecting the patient. They also tend to coordinate the team of allied health specialists like physiotherapists and occupational therapists that ensure the patient is in the best environment and is safe and supported in their social situation whatever that may be.
Any condition that may affect the elderly.
Particularly common are:
- Alzheimers disease
Specialty Areas of Interest
- Palliative care
- Any specialty area of medicine with a focus on the elderly
- Blood tests
- Imaging studies
Treatment usually involves a multidisciplinary team. Interventions will be coordinated by the doctor who may begin medications and give general advice. Specific advice regarding coping in the home environment and managing with limited mobility comes from occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers. Support for the patient and the family is avaiable from these sources and also from the GP who often plays a central role in managing elderly patients.
What to expect
Assessment will be made by every member of the aged care assessment team. Questions will be asked about medical problems, mobility and physical ability and coping, memory, as well as a number of different things. A picture of the illnesses and issues facing an elderly patient will be made and an optimal care package tailored to that individual and family.
The patient will be examined by the doctor (geriatrician) to determine the medical problems facing the patient, and to work out how to best manage them. The rest of the team will all examine the patient, focusing on their ability to cope in the home environment and to decide what best interventions can be made to improve the situation.