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Geriatric Care is the branch of health-care that is dedicated to the care of elderly patients. It is more or less synonymous with geriatrics, but is meant to encompass all aspects of health care that may be provided to older persons. Geriatric care is meant to provide the same care to the elderly as is provided to younger individuals, including preventive medicine and a patient-centered approach to care. Geriatric care is not always considered a separate specialty from primary care. Some of the common areas of care provided by a geriatrician include:
The first and most critical component of health promotion in older adults is to identify and address any medical issues that may be contributing to an increased risk for chronic illness. These may include chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and depression, along with acute problems such as urinary tract infections, pulmonary issues, pneumonia, fractures and falls.
In addition to addressing these issues, it is often of great benefit to educate older adults on how to live with these conditions. This may be done through discussions of how to avoid falling, dietary changes that can address hypertension and diabetes, and lifestyle changes that will help to lower blood pressure and manage diabetes. The goal of health promotion is to help older adults live their lives in a safe, healthy and productive manner.
A healthy diet is essential for good health. When considering dietary advice, it is important to note that “some elderly people have more specific medical conditions or are not physically able to eat as much as others”, and to consider how to meet dietary needs that are specific to this patient population.Food allergies are a common condition in older adults, and special consideration should be given to individuals who have food allergies. Additionally, the “use of supplements to prevent, treat or reduce chronic disease is extremely common among older adults.
” While nutrition advice should not be restricted to only those with conditions such as dementia or swallowing issues, it is vital that all older adults are given advice on how to meet their dietary needs, regardless of their ability to properly prepare their food. Food allergies, eating disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, sensory impairments and dietary restrictions should all be considered when giving dietary advice. Dietary advice is often provided by the patient’s physician. If it is not provided by the physician, dietary advice is often provided by a registered dietician.
Older adults are often advised by physicians to see a physical therapist in order to prevent injuries and address issues that may limit function and mobility. Examples include balance and mobility issues and low back pain. Geriatric care includes all aspects of health care, including medical, mental, psychological and social care. In addition to being an important component of care for the elderly, physical therapy is an essential component of the prevention and treatment of disease in older adults.
Geriatric care is a component of mental health care, as mental and emotional health is one of the most important factors in ensuring an active, functional, and healthy life. The mental health of older adults is often compromised by loneliness, which can contribute to stress and heart disease. Social isolation can also be a common health concern in older adults. Geriatric care includes interventions that address these mental health conditions. Examples of mental health interventions include providing support groups, providing social services and counseling.
Counseling can be very beneficial to older adults, as it provides them with the opportunity to discuss their personal problems, and work on these issues with someone they can trust. The goal of counseling is to educate the older adult in how to manage their mental health issues. This may include providing education and coping skills on how to deal with depression, as well as educating them on how to avoid loneliness. Counseling may also be used to assist the older adult with social interactions.