Geriatric medicine focuses on health promotion and the prevention and treatment of disease and disability in later life. A geriatrician is a medical doctor who is specially trained to prevent and manage the unique and, oftentimes, multiple health concerns of older adults. Older persons may react to illness and disease differently than 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.
Not everyone over age 65 needs to see a geriatrician. People over the age of 65 have different degrees of disability and illness. Some have no problems at all, while others have many serious health concerns.
While primary care physicians, that is, general internists and family physicians, care for most older persons, geriatricians are often sought to provide consultations for the frailest of older persons. Frequently, geriatricians address issues such as memory loss, arthritis, osteoporosis, mobility and dementia.
Regardless of an older person’s age, a geriatrician should be consulted when:
An older person’s condition causes considerable impairment and frailty. These persons tend to be over the age of 75 and coping with a number of diseases and disabilities, including cognitive (mental) problems; or
Family members and friends are feeling considerable stress and strain as caregivers.
Dr. Kathryn Borgenicht of Bozeman Deaconess Internal Medicine Associates specializes in geriatric care. She has a full understanding of the wide range of physical, mental, medical, social, and spiritual issues that older adults can have.