Doctor Guru's Featured Geriatric Specialists in Singapore
Geriatric Medicine Singapore
What Everyone Should Know about Geriatric Medicine
At its most basic definition, geriatric medicine is a medical specialty that specifically focuses on the disease processes, issues, and age-related conditions and diseases of older people. Opinions differ as to what age exactly arcs "old age", and for many of us, age is relative. However, those in the field of geriatric care or medicine are dedicated to maintaining independence, maintaining or improving quality of life, and improving overall mental and physical health and well-being of older individuals.
Those focusing in geriatric medicine are trained to provide care in a number of scenarios, including doctor’s offices, rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes and home care environments.
The field is broad in scope but focused on a specific age group, which enables those specializing in geriatric medicine to provide the best in care and services for the elderly.
Focusing on the Elderly
A doctor or health care provider specializing in geriatric care will help assess, monitor, diagnose and offer a plan of care or action to treat a number of issues prevalent in the elderly. For example, some of the most common disease processes that affect the elderly include but are not limited to:
- Cardiovascular issues
- Endocrine issues including thyroid disorders, diabetes, and adrenal disorders
- Gastroenterology studies - including inflammatory bowel disease, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, as well as conditions affecting the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts, liver, pancreas, and esophagus.
- Neurology - including neuropathies, aphasias, motor neuron disorders, seizures, movement disorders, and the results of stroke
- Cancer care - this field identifies, diagnosis, and offers treatment and follow-up for cancer scenarios as well as paraneoplastic syndromes
- Dental care
- Rheumatology - this field provides care for individuals diagnosed with conditions like osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, amyloidosis, vasculitis, and other musculoskeletal conditions
The need for care for the elderly is especially valuable when individuals are diagnosed with psychiatric conditions such as dementia, including Alzheimer's, as well as neurodegenerative effects on the brain from conditions like Huntington's and Parkinson's disease.
Experts in geriatric medicine also focus on the nutritional and dietary needs of the elderly, as body demands for nutrition changes as we age. These specialists are also aware of changes in dentition and oral health as the body ages and are able to provide valuable resources, treatments and procedures for those experiencing changes in their nutritional or dental needs and care services.
A number of medical professionals work in the geriatric field, and you will find nurses, nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, doctors, rehabilitation experts and surgeons who specialize in taking care of the elderly. Medical professionals don't require specific certification in internal medicine to be certified in geriatric medicine, although many have received special education, certification, and training in the field. In order to specialize in geriatric medicine, an individual must be licensed to practice medicine, as well as be well-versed in a number of medical fields including knowledge and expertise in:
- Functional assessment and rehabilitation
- Geriatric psychiatry
- Diseases of the elderly
The field of gerontology and geriatric medicine offers a broad range of expertise focusing on age-related changes in individuals, prescribing medicines, and adverse drug effects on the elderly, and seeks to reduce drug interactions in the elderly through understanding of how drugs affect individuals at different ages. The range of specialties in geriatric care are numerous, though doctors are not required to specialize on a specific area of care.
Medical doctors specializing in geriatric medicine should belong to a board of geriatrics in their country of origin, and certification in different fields, such as psychiatry, pharmacy, nursing, and internal medicine are available depending on a doctor's preferred scope of care and services.