Geriatricians; what do they do?
Visiting one’s local GP, although seemingly satisfactory, may on its own not be enough. We’re not prejudiced against GP’s; they do a great job and are an absolute necessity. However, when it comes to those over the age of 65, it’s well worth considering employing the talents of a geriatrician. Find a good one and you won’t look back!
So, what exactly does a geriatrician do? Well, they are specialists who care for those getting on in years. Importantly, to become a geriatrician, they will have completed at least an additional 3 years of specialist medical training in geriatric medicine.
The importance of their training comes to the fore when dealing with the frail elderly who may be suffering a range of complex issues that could include dementia or heart disease. Most geriatricians are experienced in dealing with those showing signs of multiple conditions, their expertise allowing them to help cognitive problem sufferers. Other concerns may include issues with mobility, frailty or incontinence, to name a few. Their knowledge base should include nutrition and medicinal advice.
Anecdotally, we have witnessed some amazing results with those having consulted a geriatrician. The issue for many, though, is how specialists can be quite expensive. And rightly so. This said, if you are fortunate enough to have a consultation with a geriatrician in a public hospital, there should be no cost. However, once outside hospital it can be a very different story.
If deciding to bite the bullet and see a geriatrician (with a referral from your GP), you would expect them to conduct a comprehensive assessment to help you understand your physical and mental condition, as well as your social situation.
Importantly, we recommend you ask for a thorough medicinal assessment. Over time, people often accumulate a range of medicines that may have been prescribed by different doctors, but which have not been asked about since other than for a repeat script.
As indicated above, anecdotally we’ve witnessed several cases where a geriatrician has dramatically culled a person’s medicine intake with terrific life lengthening, better quality lifestyle results.
Other things a geriatrician may instigate may include a management or healthcare plan.
Ask your GP, close friends or family if they can recommend a good geriatrician. It may result in a life changing experience.