With most seniors already seeing several different medical professionals, could there really be any advantage to adding still another? When it comes to a geriatric care specialist, the clear answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
A geriatrician is board-certified in either internal or family medicine, much like a primary care physician, but with the extra benefit of being certified in geriatric medicine. Geriatric specialists are recommended in particular by the American Geriatrics Society for those who are:
- Experiencing considerable frailty and/or impairment
- Diagnosed with numerous chronic conditions
- Enduring a condition which causes sizable amounts of stress to family caregivers
With a holistic strategy to care, a geriatric care specialist will create a comprehensive, customized plan for aging which takes into consideration both past and current health history. The plan will tackle topics such as activities of daily living (meals, personal hygiene, dressing, etc.), in addition to the particular challenges of the senior’s diagnoses, and an assessment of the home environment and care that is currently in position. The geriatrician will work directly with the senior’s support network – family, friends, and caregivers – to be certain all bases are covered as it pertains to meeting care needs.
Finding the right geriatrician is key. A good starting place is the AGS Foundation for Health in Aging (800-563-4916), which offers referrals to geriatric specialists by location. Once you have a list of well-qualified geriatricians locally, you can narrow down your search by getting answers to these key questions:
- Is he or she covered under the older adult’s medical care plan?
- What are his/her qualifications, including medical education?
- How many years of experience does he/she have?
- Where is the office located, and what are their policies and hours?
You will also want to be sure the geriatrician communicates well, because that will be a critical part of the quality of your senior loved one’s care. Once you’ve selected the geriatric specialist you would like to try, hang on to the list of alternate providers until after you’ve set up your first appointment and concluded that the one you’ve decided on is likely to be a good fit.
In addition to the geriatrician, a group of professionals with experience in geriatric care will likely be included, which might consist of a social worker, nurse, dietitian, physical and occupational therapist, and psychiatrist. Ideally, the group will work cohesively to deal with any and all concerns, both now and proactively as the senior’s needs change with time.
Abby Senior Care is always on hand to help as well, using our thorough experience in aging care and our attention to the specific needs of each senior we have the honor of serving. Email or call us at 303-699-8840 to ask about further resources, to get answers to your questions, and to learn more about our top-rated senior home care in Denver and the surrounding communities.