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Geriatric Medicine Defined

The Royal College of Physicians (London) describes Geriatric Medicine as follows:

Geriatrics is a branch of General medicine that is concerned with the clinical, preventative, remedial and social aspects of illness in old age.  The challenges of frailty, complex co-morbidity, different patterns of disease presentation, slower response to treatment and requirements for social support call for special medical skills.

Presentations of illness in old age are often non-specific:  Geriatricians focus on falls, immobility, incontinence and confusion as well as adverse drug reactions.  We see a broad range of illnesses, particularly stroke, heart disease, infections, diabetes, delirium, and the dementias.  Some Geriatricians deal with the whole range of Geriatric problems, particularly those who spend some time working in the community.  Others specialise in such areas as Orthopaedic Geriatrics, Stroke, Falls and Syncope, Cerebral ageing, Parkinsonism

At its core, Geriatrics requires comprehensive assessment of ill and disabled old people.  This involves close inter-disciplinary working with nurses, therapists, pharmacists, dieticians, social workers and many other health professionals. We work closely with GPs, Old Age Psychiatrists and many hospital clinical specialists to ensure that old people receive the highest possible levels of care

 

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