Patients can locate a geriatrician in their area using the Doctor Finder tool on the Health subsection of the U.S. News & World Report website, as of 2015. Another option is for patients to ask their current primary care doctors to refer them to a geriatric specialist.
Geriatricians are primary care providers who specialize in the treatment of elderly patients over the age of about 65. There are certain health concerns that are especially prevalent in individuals in this age group, such as memory loss, osteoporosis, incontinence and falls, and geriatric physicians are well-equipped to handle such conditions. It is sometimes sufficient for elderly patients to see general practitioners, but patients with conditions that require significant assistance from others should ideally see geriatricians.
Other conditions geriatricians commonly diagnose and treat include diabetes, stroke, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and sleep conditions. They are also trained to assess patients' abilities to care for themselves on an individual basis. These types of doctors also often collaborate with other types of health care professionals, such as nutritionists, social workers, geriatric psychiatrists and pharmacists, to provide their elderly patient population with the most comprehensive health care possible. Geriatricians practice medicine in a wide range of settings, such as clinics, nursing homes, hospitals and rehabilitation centers.