Issue 01/April 2024

GERIATRICS - Time is now

By: Dr. Yogesh Gupta

India is considered to be country of young. The elderly population at present is approximately 14 crore which is fast increasing. Those who are young will age eventually. 

Let's ask ourselves one basic question. For children we have Pediatricians then for elderly we have???




Core Values

1. Being compassionate towards senior citizens regardless of the situation or exigency.

2.Always staying ahead of the kerb by adopting the cutting edge in modern healthcare technology.

3.Having a contemporary approach towards treatment and patient care.


To aid the elderly in living a dignified life.

Basics of geriatric medicine department

1. As we age there are many changes in the body.

A. The disease and it's chances of causing life threatening event increases. Even a fever or a diarrhoea or a vomiting or giddiness have grave consequences

B. The medicine and their chances of causing side effects are very high. So type, form, dosage and duration require specific care

C. There are many other disease which may be known or may be developing at this age.

2. Being elderly means first empathy, second to make them feel at ease and then management of the illness. Human first and not to treat the report is important concept

3. Prevention of disease is the most important feature. Vaccination, health awareness programs, health check ups are the features 

4. As we become elderly there are many disabilities and restriction that comes to us. They will require proper planning of home care management to prevent further worsening. Even after discharge from critical care units many will require a team for continuity of care 

5. Guidance: in case of surgeries, procedures, and other medical issues this department is needed to guide the treating team in matters of management.

Core challenges:

  • Acceptance by the doctor fraternity that there is a need for Geriatrics.
  • Spread of message in society that such speciality exists. The name Geriatrics is not known to the larger population.
  • To assign and educate the healthcare personnels about the specific needs of elderly.
  • To work as a multi speciality team right from doctors, home care team, nursing staff, physiotherapist, pharmacists and dieticians.

What a Geriatric department does?

1. Home Care: Geriatricians provide medical care and support services for older adults in their own homes, ensuring they receive necessary treatments and assistance with daily activities without having to leave their familiar environment.

2. Hospital Care: They manage the medical needs of older adults who require hospitalization, coordinating with other healthcare professionals to ensure comprehensive care tailored to the individual's needs.

3. Preventive Care: Geriatricians focus on preventing health issues before they arise or worsen in older adults. This includes conducting regular screenings for conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension, as well as recommending vaccinations to protect against infectious diseases.

4. Curative Care: They diagnose and treat acute illnesses and manage chronic conditions commonly seen in older adults, such as arthritis, heart disease, and dementia, aiming to alleviate symptoms and improve overall health and quality of life.

5. Vaccination: Geriatricians administer vaccines to protect older adults from infectious diseases, including influenza, pneumonia, and shingles, helping to reduce the risk of serious illness and complications.

6. Proper Drug Decisions: They carefully evaluate the medications prescribed to older adults, considering factors such as potential interactions, side effects, and changes in metabolism associated with aging. This ensures that medications are appropriate and safe for the individual's unique health profile. 

7. End-of-Life Care: Geriatricians provide compassionate care and support to older adults nearing the end of their lives, focusing on managing pain, addressing emotional and spiritual needs, and ensuring dignity and comfort during this sensitive time. 

8. Mobility and Fall Prevention: They assess and address mobility issues and implement strategies to prevent falls, which are common concerns in older adults and can lead to serious injuries. 

9. Nutritional Support: Geriatricians may provide guidance on nutrition and dietary requirements tailored to the specific needs of older adults, helping to maintain optimal health and prevent malnutrition and related complications.

10. Cognitive Health: They evaluate and manage cognitive function and memory concerns, including screening for dementia and providing support and resources for individuals and their families facing cognitive decline.

Geriatricians play a crucial role in promoting the health, well-being, and independence of older adults by addressing their unique medical, psychological, and social needs through comprehensive and specialized care.


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