What is geriatrics?
Geriatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the assessment and management of health issues of elderly people. It is based on the aim of making sure that the old people receive sufficient health care not just to prevent disease and morbidity, but also to provide specialized health care for the elderly when required. It also deals with the social and psychological aspects and problems related to aging.
Geriatrics is quite different from adult medicine just the way; pediatrics is different from adult medicine. All three branches of medicine address three different age groups of the society and they have to meet the needs of their specific and targeted group.
Sub-specialties of Geriatrics
Geriatrics is an umbrella term and a number of sub-specialties are included in the title. There is cardio-geriatrics which deals with the cardiac issues of the elderly.
Geriatric dentistry and dermatology deal with the dental and skin issues of old people. Their teeth and skin are obviously different from all other younger age groups demanding an entirely different approach to such patients.
Geriatric nephrology and neurology are again specific for the kidney and brain issues of old people. Aging affects almost all the organs of the body and their natural physiology is altered. Adult medicine fails at many levels in addressing the needs of the patient approach and management if the person at the other end is elderly.
Other sub-specialties of geriatrics are geriatric oncology, rheumatology, geriatric urology, orthogeriatric, geriatric ophthalmology, geriatric gynecology, geriatric pain management, geriatric nutrition, and geriatric psychology.
What is the geriatric assessment form?
A geriatric assessment form is a medical form used for basically knowing the history of elderly patients. This form is often used by hospitals whenever an old patient arrives for an emergency or regular visit. It is also utilized in old age nursing homes where individual details of the elderly residents have to be filled in for smooth living without any unpleasant events.
What information is mentioned in a geriatric assessment form?
The geriatric assessment form as mentioned earlier gathers all the information of an elderly patient for later use and reference. Let’s have an insight into the form to get a better idea of the form.
- The name of the patient, age, date of birth, sex, and insurance number are written in the introduction. It also includes the information of the primary caregiver whoever it is. Weight and height are also mentioned for medical purposes.
- Presenting complaints of the patient are mentioned at the beginning followed by the past medical and surgical history.
- Similarly, a history of allergies, drug reactions, and blood transfusions and reactions is also mentioned in the form.
- If the elderly patient is using any hearing aid, a pacemaker, or any other assisting device, its information is important to mention.
- It is advised to the person who fills out the form to assess the signs of neglect or abuse on the patient because it is very commonly seen in old people, especially by their immediate caregivers.
- In the end, a Performa is filled asking about the activity level, memory assessment, and behavior assessment of the patient.