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What is Geriatrics?

Geriatrics is a branch of medicine that focuses on health promotion and the prevention and treatment of disease and disability in later life.

What is a Geriatrician?

A geriatrician is a medical doctor who is specially trained to prevent and manage older adults unique and oftentimes, multiple health concerns. Older persons react to illness differently from younger adults. Geriatricians are able to treat older patients, manage multiple disease symptoms and develop care plans that address the special health care needs of older adults. Generally, geriatricians are internists or family physicians who have been  trained and certified in Geriatric Medicine. There are  approximately  150 geriatricians including some who trained abroad in the Philippines and a few geropsychiatrists (a psychiatrist trained to deal with the mental health needs and specific syndromes faced by older adults). Other health care professionals who work with a geriatric team such as nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation experts, pharmacists, and nutritionists may have advanced training in geriatrics.

Who needs to see a Geriatrician?

People over the age 60 have different degrees of disability and illness. Some have no problems at all, while others have many serious health concerns. Geriatricians see healthy as well as frail older people. While older persons are cared for by general internists, and family physicians, geriatricians should be sought to provide care for the frailest of older persons because of unique qualifications and training.

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