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Geriatricians: How Can They Help My Elderly Parents?

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Many of our clients at The Miller Elder Law Firm not only need legal consultation but also need recommendations for other areas impacting seniors such as medical care.  We wanted to share information about geriatricians, physicians who are trained to work with the medical complexities of aging adults, so you may consider this specialty as a resource.

Defining Geriatric Medicine

Geriatrics is the subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with the health and well-being of older adults. Geriatricians must complete seven or more years of medical school and postgraduate training and become board certified in Internal Medicine. Then, for an additional year they study conditions specific to aging, including geriatric assessment and rehabilitation, preventive medicine, management of patients in long-term care settings, and psycho-social, ethical, legal, and economic issues pertinent to geriatric patients.

What Geriatricians Do

Geriatricians diagnose, treat and manage diseases and conditions that require a special approach when dealing with older adults. They give special attention to falls, incontinence, preoperative assessment and post-operative management, cerebrovascular disease, dementia, sensory impairment and other cognitive and affective changes that occur with aging.

When You Need A Geriatrician

Geriatricians often become the primary physician for older adults. If this is not the case, your primary physician might refer you to a geriatrician when a problem associated with aging requires special attention. In some cases, a family member might recognize a need for a geriatrician and suggest you consult one.

A geriatrician should be consulted when:

  • An older person’s condition causes considerable impairment and frailty. These patients tend to be over the age of 75 and coping with a number of diseases and disabilities, including cognitive (mental) problems.
  • Family members and friends are feeling considerable stress and strain as caregivers.
  • Family members and patients have trouble following complex treatments, or dealing with many healthcare professionals for their multiple health problems.

How Geriatricians Work With Other Physicians

If geriatricians are not serving as your primary care physician, they often work with other physicians, advising them about a specific diagnosis or treatment plan. More often, geriatricians act as primary care physicians, relying on many skilled professionals and other subspecialists of internal medicine, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, pharmacists, and social workers.

A Local Resource For Geriatric Medical Care

The Senior Healthcare Centers of North Florida Regional Medical Center offer specialized, primary medical care for patients 65 years of age and older in North Central Florida.  The interdisciplinary team of professionals, including board certified physicians with advanced specialties, advanced registered nurse practitioners, certified geriatric pharmacists, registered nurses, case managers and support staff specially trained in working with seniors.

Doctors Goldblatt, Rich, Cott, and Banik are the geriatricians that have helped the clients at The Miller Elder Law Firm.  They practice at the Crown Point location in Gainesville.

If you need assistance with legal issues impacting seniors including wills and trusts, guardianships, and exploitation of the elderly, please contact us at 352-379-1900 or complete the form below and we will contact you.