Geriatrics refers to specialized medical care for older adults, especially after the age of 60 years in India. Life expectancy has increased. Hence, people living beyond 60 years are increasing in numbers. Diseases interact with pure aging effects to cause old age-related syndromes. Hence, the effects of aging must be considered during the diagnosis and treatment of senior citizens.
Why “specialist” for elderly people?
Clinicians may often:
- Mistake pure aging for disease
- Mistake disease for pure aging
- Ignore the increased risk of adverse drug effects.
- Forget that older adults often have multiple underlying disorders that accelerate the potential for harm.
Common problems in old age:
- Delirium – Serious disturbance in mental abilities that results in confused thinking and reduced awareness of surroundings.
- Depression – A mood disorder characterized by loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
- Dementia – A chronic or persistent disorder of the mental process caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.
- Incontinence – It is the lack of voluntary control over urination or defecation.
- Orthostatic Hypotension – A form of low blood pressure that happens when standing up from sitting or lying down.
- Falls – An event which results in person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground or floor or other lower level.
- Dizziness – An altered sense of balance and place, possibly described as lightheaded, feeling faint or as if head is spinning.
- Osteoporosis – A condition in which bones become weak and brittle.
- Polypharmacy – It refers to the use of multiple medications in a patient, commonly being on 5 or more medicines.
- Multiple Joint Pain – especially painful during movements.
- Frailty – It is a state of increased vulnerability resulting from aging associated decline in reserve and function across multiple physiological symptoms.
- Failure to thrive – It is a condition which includes weight loss, decreased appetite, poor nutrition, and inactivity.
- Elder Abuse – It is a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an exception of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.
- Chronic Disorders –
- Diabetes Mellitus – Increased blood sugar level over a prolonged period causing symptoms like increased urination, increased thirst.
- Hypothyroidism – A condition in which thyroid gland does not provide enough thyroid hormone.
- Hypertension – Increased blood pressure could be due to aging also.
- Dyslipidemia – Abnormally elevated cholesterol or fats(lipids) in the blood.
When to visit the Geriatrician?
If you are having any of these symptoms: –
- Memory Loss
- Multiple Joint Pain
- Poor Urine Control
- Loss of sleep
- Balance issues
- Frequent falls
- Over medication
- Chronic Disease – High BP, High or Low Sugars, Thyroid Disorders, Low Calcium or Vitamin D3, etc.
At Dr.Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, we have pioneered a new model for geriatric medicine. Our top-rated physicians are simultaneously helping to manage the health of mature adults while enhancing the patient experience through the aging process. Our specialized programs are designed to improve elderly patient’s independence, and well-being. Whether you are living with memory loss and dementia, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, or immobility, our goal is to improve your overall quality of life, while providing support and education for your family members and caregivers.
SERVICES WE OFFER:
- Geriatric Out -Patient Services – OPD services include a stepwise assessment by the nursing staff, physiotherapist and the Geriatric Consultant followed by help from the social worker to obtain routine laboratory investigations and imaging if required. Then department coordinator sets up various super specialty opinion if required.
- Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment – This is a battery of test performed by the specialized Geriatric team of senior practical nurses, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech and language pathologist, dietician, social worker, general physician, and the consultant. It is done to frail patients. It is also helpful in people with sarcopenia, recent weight loss, post fall and fractures.
- Memory Assessment Test – This is a battery of specialized test done to assess the severity and impact of memory loss. It is usually followed by an imaging (CT/MRI – Brain) and neurologist and psychiatrist consult, if deemed necessary.
- Home Visit by Doctors – The doctor visits the patient’s home for non-emergency situations and for non-ambulatory patients. This service is also useful for bedridden patients or patients staying in old – age home or senior living societies. This visit is performed by a Senior Geriatric Consultant along with nursing staff and physiotherapist.
- Home Visit by Physiotherapist – The physiotherapist visits the patient’s home and does an assessment. They also perform multiple exercises including chest physiotherapy, breathing exercises, muscle strengthening, stretching and passive exercises, balance and gait training if required. They teach you how to use orthotic aids like walker, cane, tripod, wheelchairs, shoehorn, etc. at home.
- Basic Nursing Services @ Home – Nursing staff are provided as home health care aide where they perform array of services like – oral care, hair care, sponge bath, feeding, transferring, and mobilizing, providing medications to the patients.
- Intensive Nursing Care @ Home – Senior nursing staff are provided as home health caretaker where they perform all the basic nursing services along with specialized services like dressing, foley’s catheter insertion/removal and care, Ryle’s tube insertion/removal/feeding. They also give intravenous injections and fluids at home if prescribed by doctors.
- Wound Care @ Home – Specialized Practical Nurses trained under the tutelage of renowned plastic surgeons, orthopedic surgeon provides pressure ulcer, diabetic ulcer, varicose ulcers, or bed sore and post- operative wound care & dressing.
- Procedure @ Home – Multiple procedures like Ryle’s tube insertion/removal, Foley’s Catheter Insertion/ Removal, securing Intravenous lines are provided at home.
Online Consultation – The Consultants and Physiotherapist do online consultation services if need arises.