Geriatricians have expertise in areas that general internists don’t, including the changes in cognitive ability, mood, gait, balance and continence, as well as the effects of drugs on older individuals.
But with few doctors drawn to the field and some fleeing it, the disparity between the number of geriatricians and the population it serves is destined to grow even starker.
“We’re an endangered species,” said Dr. Rosanne Leipzig, a renowned geriatrician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.
In the past month, three unrelated experiences point to the fact that we have a big problem on our hands, and we are not sure how to get a handle on it. Older people are getting lost. And I DO NOT mean lost in a moral sense, or lost in the system. I mean they are actually leaving their homes, losing their way and becoming lost.
It's not just patients, but other physicians, who have trouble figuring out what I do and when I should do it. Is it when a person turns 65? Or when they develop problems with memory like dementia?
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The Pearl cards are a short concise review of a particular geriatric topic.
Produced by University of Missouri, Columbia School of Health Professions, Department of Physical Therapy. Includes links to useful tools to assess functional status, fall risk, and much more. PDF files for easy printing and use in offices.
The elderly have been found to have more undiagnosed disease than other groups, suffer greater morbidity and mortality and require prolonged recovery times. Special skills are required. Geriatric care emphasizes total medical, social, psychological, and functional assessment for comprehensive diagnosis and the determination of patient needs. The functional impact of illnesses, rather than their names or total number, guide diagnostic intervention and treatment planning
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Overseen by a team of experts on caring for older adults, HealthinAging.org content is based on resources that the American Geriatrics Society has developed for its professional members.
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