What is a Geriatric Doctor?

Older woman holding the had of her geriatric doctos
Published:  March 19, 2024

As the aging population continues to grow, the importance of geriatric medicine becomes increasingly evident. Geriatric doctors are trained to address the unique healthcare needs and challenges faced by older adults, considering not only the physical ailments associated with aging but also the emotional and social aspects that play a crucial role in overall well-being. A specialized geriatric doctor focuses on promoting quality of life, managing chronic conditions, and providing comprehensive medical care tailored to the specific needs of seniors.

What is a Geriatric Doctor?

Geriatric doctors, also known as geriatricians, are medical professionals specializing in the healthcare needs of older adults. Their primary focus is on promoting and maintaining the health and well-being of seniors, considering the unique challenges and complexities that come with aging.

Is a Geriatric Doctor Considered a Specialist?

Yes, geriatric doctors are considered specialists in the field of medicine. While general practitioners can provide primary care to individuals of all ages, geriatricians undergo additional training to understand the specific health concerns associated with aging. This specialization equips them with the expertise needed to address the multifaceted needs of seniors.

What Does a Geriatric Doctor Do?

Geriatric doctors take a holistic approach to healthcare for older adults. They assess not only the physical aspects but also consider mental, emotional, and social well-being. Their responsibilities include preventive care, managing chronic conditions, and coordinating with other healthcare professionals to provide integrated care tailored to the unique needs of seniors.

What Do Geriatric Doctors Treat?

Geriatric doctors are trained to address a wide range of health issues commonly faced by seniors. These may include chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease, as well as cognitive issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, they play a pivotal role in preventing falls, managing medications, and addressing mental health concerns.

What to Expect at a Geriatric Doctor Appointment

A geriatric doctor appointment is more than a routine check-up; it’s a personalized exploration of an individual’s health journey, designed to address the unique aspects of aging.. Understanding what to expect during such appointments can help seniors and their families prepare for a thorough and insightful healthcare experience.

At a geriatric doctor appointment, the following can be expected:

  • Medical History Discussion: Be prepared to discuss your complete medical history, including any existing conditions, past surgeries, medications, and lifestyle factors. This information forms the foundation for tailoring your care plan.
  • Family History Review: Geriatricians often inquire about family health history to identify any hereditary health risks or patterns that may influence your current health.
  • Vital Signs Monitoring: Expect the usual routine of checking vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature to assess your baseline health.
  • Functional Assessments: Geriatric doctors may perform functional assessments to evaluate your mobility, balance, and overall physical function. These assessments help identify any areas of concern related to physical independence.
  • Memory and Cognitive Tests: As cognitive health is a crucial aspect of geriatric care, expect your geriatrician to conduct memory and cognitive function tests. These assessments help detect early signs of conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Medication Management: Geriatricians pay close attention to medication lists, assessing the appropriateness, potential interactions, and side effects. Adjustments may be made to ensure optimal medication management.
  • Future Health Planning: Expect discussions about future health planning, including advanced care directives, end-of-life preferences, and potential scenarios. Geriatricians aim to engage in open conversations about your healthcare goals and preferences.

When Should You Start Seeing a Geriatric Doctor?

The timing of when to start seeing a geriatric doctor can vary based on individual health circumstances. However, it is generally advisable to consider geriatric care as one approaches the age of 65 or when specific health concerns related to aging become apparent. Early engagement with a geriatrician allows for proactive management of health issues and the development of a personalized care plan.

Do Geriatric Doctors Do House Calls?

In some cases, geriatric doctors may offer house call services, recognizing the challenges some seniors face in traveling to medical appointments. House calls can be particularly beneficial for individuals with mobility issues or those residing in assisted living facilities. However, the availability of house call services may vary, and it’s advisable to inquire with individual geriatric practices about this option. At Ennoble Care, we offer in-home primary care house calls for seniors.

Geriatric Doctor Services from Home With Ennoble

Embarking on the journey of senior care should be a seamless and enriching experience, and Ennoble is here to redefine the way we approach healthcare for our elders. Whether you seek expert geriatric care, telehealth services, or a holistic approach to aging, Ennoble is here to support you or your loved one. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started with geriatric primary care.