Health > Caring for Geriatric Patients
22nd Mar 2024
Caring for Geriatric Patients

Caring for Geriatric Patients

Geriatric care is about giving medical care to older people. It helps diagnose and treat their health problems. As more people live longer, this care is getting more important. By 2050, there will be many more people over 65 than there were in 2020. So, healthcare needs to change to help older people better. Families also need to know what care options they have for their elderly loved ones. 

This kind of care does more than just treat sickness. It looks at the whole health of older adults. A team of healthcare workers like doctors, nurses, and others come together. They make a care plan that fits each person’s needs. These plans help with not just medical issues but also the emotional and social parts of getting older. 

In this blog, we’ll talk about the benefits of geriatric care. It includes checking the overall health, managing long-term illnesses, supporting mental health, and helping with medicines. By learning about geriatric care, families can make sure their older loved ones get the best care in their later years. 

Understanding Geriatric Care  

Geriatric care, or geriatrics, is a medical specialty that focuses on health care for elderly people. It aims to promote health by preventing and treating diseases and disabilities in older adults. Unlike other medical specialties that focus on specific diseases or parts of the body, geriatrics considers the unique needs of the elderly, offering a comprehensive, holistic approach to their care. 

Definition and Scope 

The scope of geriatric care extends beyond mere medical treatment. It encompasses the assessment, treatment, and management of the various health and wellness issues that older adults face. This includes chronic diseases, mobility issues, mental health conditions, nutritional concerns, and social challenges. Geriatricians, physicians specialized in geriatric care, are trained to recognize how these issues interconnect and affect the overall health and wellbeing of elderly patients. 

Also Read: What are the Benefits of Going to a Geriatric Specialist?

Multidisciplinary Approach 

A cornerstone of geriatric care is its multidisciplinary approach. This means that care is not provided by geriatricians alone but involves a team of healthcare professionals working together. This team may include: 

  • Nurses: Specialized in geriatric care to offer nursing assessment and management. 
  • Pharmacists: To review medications, prevent polypharmacy (the use of multiple medications), and ensure drug interactions are minimized. 
  • Physical Therapists: To assist with mobility, strength, and balance issues, helping older adults maintain their independence for as long as possible. 
  • Social Workers: To provide support with social, emotional, and financial issues, including housing, care placement, and accessing community resources. 
  • Occupational Therapists: To help elderly individuals adapt to their living environments and maintain daily living skills. 
  • Dietitians: To ensure nutritional needs are met, addressing specific dietary requirements and promoting a healthy diet. 

By addressing the multifaceted aspects of aging, the geriatric care team strives to improve the quality of life for elderly individuals, ensuring they receive not only medical care but also the support needed to navigate the complexities of aging. 

Benefits of Caring for Geriatric Patients 

Geriatric care offers many benefits for older people, focusing on their special health needs with a complete and connected way of care. These benefits not only improve the health and happiness of older adults but also help their families and caregivers handle the challenges of caring for them. The following are some of the important benefits of geriatric care: 

Comprehensive Health Checks 

 A big part of geriatric care is doing detailed health checks. These look at physical and mental health, lifestyle, and social situations. These checks go beyond normal doctor visits, which might only look at specific complaints. They look at the full picture of an older person’s health. 

These detailed checks help find a range of health problems, including ones that might not be caught in regular care, like early signs of memory problems, not getting enough nutrients, or feeling lonely. By considering everything that affects an older person’s health, doctors can make care plans just for them. 

These checks also help find diseases early, which is key to managing and treating them well. Catching health issues early means doctors can start treatments that might stop diseases from getting worse, helping older adults stay healthy and independent longer. 


 Handling Chronic Diseases 

Older adults often deal with several long-lasting diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Handling these in older people can be tricky because they might have other health problems, take many medicines, and their bodies naturally change with age. 

Geriatric care is great at preventing and managing these chronic diseases by looking at the whole person, not just their diseases. Doctors and their teams make care plans that lessen the disease’s impact while keeping the quality of life as high as possible. 

This means working with different specialists, making sure medicines don’t clash, and starting lifestyle changes that can really help. It also means teaching older adults about their health and how to stick with their care plans. 

Mental Health Support  

Mental health is just as important as physical health, especially for older adults. Geriatric care pays a lot of attention to the mental wellbeing of older people. It looks at issues like depression, anxiety, and dementia and how they affect life quality. 

Doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists who know a lot about older adults work together to offer full mental health care. This includes checking for problems, diagnosing them, treating them, and giving support. They also offer counseling and therapy for older adults, support groups, and community resources to help with feelings of being alone. 

By making mental health a big part of care, geriatric services do a lot for the emotional and psychological health of older people. 

Medication Management 

Managing medications is super important in caring for geriatric patients. As they get older, many need various medications, which increases the risk of problems like adverse reactions and complex drug interactions. This issue, known as polypharmacy, happens when the negatives of medication use outweigh the benefits. 

Geriatricians and pharmacists play a key role in checking an elderly person’s medications. They make sure each medication is needed, works well, and has as few side effects as possible. By reviewing everything, they can spot any drugs that might not be needed, could be harmful, or could be replaced with something better. 

Adjusting doses is also crucial since older bodies handle drugs differently. Plus, clear instructions and information for older adults and their caregivers about how to take medications safely are part of this care. This careful approach helps avoid medication problems, keeping older adults safer and healthier. 

Making Life Better 

Geriatric care also aims to make life better for older adults, not just by treating illnesses but by improving their everyday lives. This includes things like physical therapy to stay mobile, dietary advice for healthy eating, and social support to avoid feeling lonely. Activities and hobbies that keep the mind active are also encouraged. 

The idea is to help older people live as fully and independently as they can, respecting their choices and preferences. By looking after their overall needs, geriatric care helps ensure older adults enjoy their later years with dignity and happiness. 

Helping Families and Caregivers 

Families and caregivers get a lot of support from geriatric care, too. Looking after an elderly loved one is rewarding but tough. Geriatric care offers resources, training, and advice to help caregivers in their role. This includes emotional support through groups and counseling and practical help with navigating healthcare systems and finding community resources. 

This support lightens the load on families and caregivers, making sure they have the tools and knowledge to provide the best care. 

In Conclusion 

Geriatric care is all about a caring, whole-person approach to looking after seniors. It covers everything from health checks and managing chronic illnesses to supporting mental health and managing medications. It’s not just about treating illnesses but also about making life as good as it can be for older adults and helping those who care for them. 

As the world’s population gets older, geriatric care is more important than ever. It’s about making sure older adults get the respect and care they deserve, helping them live their later years happily and healthily.  

Learn more about how Emoha Eldercare can help seniors live their golden years carefree. Contact us today!