Q:

What is geriatric medicine?

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Quick Answer

Geriatric medicine is a subspecialty of internal medicine devoted to the health and wellness of older adults. Geriatricians, doctors in this specialty, spend an extra year after becoming internists studying conditions specific to aging.

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Full Answer

Conditions related to aging include geriatric rehabilitation, preventative medicine and care for those in long-term care settings. Geriatricians give special attention to situations such as falls, incontinence, dementia and sensory impairment. These specialists are often the primary physician for an older adult, and they work closely with other doctors, advising on diagnoses or treatment plans.

A geriatrician is consulted when a senior experiences age-related frailty or impairment, often found in older adults with multiple diseases or disabilities. A specialist is often consulted when the patient?s condition is causing significant stress and strain to caregivers, who are often family members.

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