When you were a child, your parent probably took you to see a pediatrician for check-ups, vaccinations, and when you were ill. Pediatricians specialize in medicine as it relates to children and also have experience in working with children and their parents. Now that your parent is older, have you thought about whether their regular primary care physician is still the right doctor for them? Did you know that there are doctors who specialize in working with older adults? Doctors who specialize in medicine for senior citizens are called geriatricians and their field of medicine is called geriatrics.
Geriatricians Have Special Training
A geriatrician is a doctor who has pursued extra training in the process of aging and the treatment of older adults. To be board certified in geriatrics, a doctor must first complete a residency program in family medicine or internal medicine. They then complete a year of training in a clinical geriatrics fellowship.
Geriatricians understand the differences in communicating with older adults who may have trouble hearing or who have experienced some cognitive decline. They are also experienced in working with the family caregivers of older adults who are often very involved in the care of the patient.
Why Your Parent May Need a Geriatrician
A geriatrician is an excellent choice for a senior who is frail or who has multiple conditions. They are also a good option if caring for the senior is placing a great deal of stress on family caregivers. Some geriatricians take a holistic approach to treating their patients and may even suggest that your parent work with a geriatric health care team. The team may include nutritionists, social workers, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and psychiatrists. The team evaluates the health and needs of the senior and works with them and their family caregivers to develop a plan to ensure the senior receives the best possible care.
Tips for Finding the Right Geriatrician
When looking for a geriatrician for your parent, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to make sure that the doctor accepts your parent’s insurance and/or Medicare. You’ll also want to consider the location of the doctor since driving too far may be inconvenient and difficult on your parent.
Your parent’s current doctor may be able to provide a referral to a geriatrician. Another good source of information about geriatricians are your friends and family members who may be able to recommend a doctor they are currently using.
Once you’ve created a short list of geriatricians, make an appointment to meet with one. Ask lots of questions and make sure that both your parent and you are comfortable with the doctor before making a final decision.
If you are considering hiring a professional caregiver in Whitehall PA, contact the caring staff at Extended Family Care of Allentown. Call today at (610) 200-6097.
Carole gained most of her formal managerial training by attending Pennsylvania State University in pursuit of her degree in Health Policy and Administration. She attributes her informal training to have been acquired on a more personal level. Carole understands first-hand what families may experience when allowing a home care provider access to their home while providing care to their loved one. She was a caregiver for two of her grandparents until their passing and believes in the importance of allowing family members the opportunity to remain in the comfort of home if they so desire. Carole is also the mother of a child with multiple medical conditions who requires nursing services in the home. It is because of her personal experiences that Carole understands first-hand how important it is to manage a quality, high-integrity home care agency in which clients and families can place their trust and be confident they are receiving the best care possible. Carole also believes in the importance of giving back to the community. Therefore, she volunteers and spear-heads fundraising activities for a variety of charitable and professional organizations, namely the Pennsylvania Home Care Association, Autism Speaks and Avengers Baseball, Inc.
Carole, a resident of Lehigh County, is married and has 2 children. In her free time, she is the “team mom” for her son’s tournament baseball team, enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and friends, and is an avid NY Giants, NY Yankees and Penn State football fan. Carol is a verified Google Author