What is Geriatric Care?
Geriatric Care broadly refers to caring for and coordinating the needs of older adults. If one or more serious conditions negatively impact a patient’s quality of life, specialized patient-centered geriatric medical care should be considered.
When is geriatric care needed?
Functional disability is common in older adults. It is often episodic and is associated with a high risk of subsequent health decline. The severity of disability is determined by (1) physical impairments caused by medical conditions such as cardiopulmonary diseases, neurologic conditions, diabetes, cancer, obesity, dementia, vision and hearing disorders, and fractures, and (2) by external factors such as social support, financial support, and the environment.
How can geriatric care help patients?
Comprehensive geriatric medical care can help address the physical, psychological, and social impairment that usually accompanies complex medical conditions in older patients. This is accomplished through a personalized treatment plan that is updated as the patient’s condition changes and coordination among all caregivers and family members to ensure continuity of care. Throughout the duration of care there is ongoing monitoring of the patient’s condition, referral to palliative care if so indicated, and referral to appropriate agencies upon discharge from healthcare institutions.
When should geriatric care begin?
Geriatric medical care can begin at any point when patient functioning declines because of disease, trauma, or even post-surgery recovery. The presence of multiple health conditions dramatically increases the likelihood of functional disability. Research shows that less than 15% of senior adults with one health issue are functionally disabled, whereas up to 60% with four or more health issues are functionally disabled.
How is geriatric care provided?
PCMA will provide geriatric medical care in partnership with the patient, the patient’s family, primary care physician(s), hospital and nursing home staff, social workers, pharmacists, nutritionists, clergy, and all other stakeholders that are needed to ensure the patient enjoys the highest quality of life possible. First, PCMA conducts a complete diagnostic assessment to determine the course of the disability, associated symptoms, effects on specific activities, and coping mechanisms the patient uses to compensate for the functional problem. PCMA will then develop a treatment plan to address multiple conditions, impairments, and contextual factors that have contributed to a patient’s functional decline.
Where is geriatric care provided?
Geriatric care can be provided in any patient setting – the patient’s private residence, assisted living community, skilled nursing facility, or hospital.