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When is it Time to See a Geriatrician?

August 30, 2018

The population of people over the age of 65 in the United States is growing rapidly. According to the U.S. Census 98.2 million people, or one in four Americans, will be 65 or older by 2060, and 19.7 million will be age 85 or older.  The good news is that people are living longer and healthier lives.  By consulting with a geriatrician, you can help ensure that the golden years are lived to their fullest.

Many things change with the process of aging, from the body’s metabolism, to certain medical problems that are more common in elderly. Geriatricians work toward enabling and empowering individuals to continue to lead a life that is fulfilling and to help them maintain the activities and pursuits they enjoy.

Geriatricians have an expertise in treating elderly patients with multiple medical problems such as pain, functional decline, falls, memory loss, incontinence, and medication side effects. They are specifically trained in how these ailments affect the physical and emotional health of their patients. Geriatricians take a more holistic approach to care, monitoring and treating the patient’s chronic conditions and watching for any changes in daily function with the goal of maintaining the highest possible quality of life for the patient.

Another important aspect of geriatric medicine is evaluating an elderly patient’s ability to care for him- or herself. In addition, geriatric providers work closely with a team of specialists, behavioral health providers, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and social workers to develop a individualized care plan for each patient to help them or their caregivers better manage the health, social and psychological impacts of aging.

Not everyone over 65 needs to see a geriatrician.  Every person ages differently and has different health concerns as they grow older.  The best way to determine if it is time to seek consultation from a geriatrician is if a person’s condition is causing significant impairment to the normal activities of daily living like eating, bathing, getting dressed, toileting, and continence. These patients tend to be over the age of 75 and coping with a number of diseases and disabilities, including both physical and cognitive problems. Geriatricians should also be consulted if family members and friends of the elderly person are feeling a great deal of stress or strain as caregivers.

 Geriatrician Mamta Singh, MD is now accepting new patients at the Windham Hospital Family Health Center at Five Founders Street, Suite 100 in Willimantic. To connect with Dr. Singh call 860.423.9764