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Basic Principles to Remember in Geriatrics

As we age, we gradually realize how important it is for there to be an immaculate healthcare system in place that caters specially to understanding the elderly and their issues. This is Geriatrics and the demand for professionals in the field is at an all-time high as people are just realizing the lack of attention that was given to the field. Here’s a list of basic principles you need to remember if considering a career in this field.

Aging

Understand that while aging itself is inevitable, it is not a disease. It certainly does make people more susceptible to illness but there are some elders that are as fit as a fiddle during this time. So you need to keep in mind that people age differently- for example, within people of different organ systems, some may be more equipped to fight disease than others.

Chronic Conditions

Management behind geriatrics is tough and complex. This is usually because older people are prone to suffer from not just one but multiple chronic conditions. Treatment, managing symptoms and care needs to be specialized as seeing to one disease may directly affect the state of another condition the elder is facing.

Under-Diagnosis

Under-diagnosis and under-treatment is a real problem in geriatrics because many people tend to attribute common geriatric conditions (such as delirium, gait, instability etc.) to old age. To prevent this from happening, a preliminary screening method should be in place for any new patient so as to correctly diagnose any conditions he/she might have.

Quality of Life

Merely because of the patient’s age, an elder shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice quality of life. Primarily, professionals need to consider any small changes that could be made to functional ability and social support (i.e. ability to transfer). A small change could greatly influence and better an elder’s quality of life.

History and Preferences

It’s not only about treating a patient’s conditions when it comes to geriatrics. No, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your patient’s preferences and life history so you can give them professional, quality care at all times. This is why degrees such as nursing courses and caregiver qualifications also include the best ways you can support an elderly patient in all aspects.

Multidisciplinary

Geriatrics is a multidisciplinary field- this means you have a variety of professions to choose from. You can choose from nursing, therapists, dieticians, pharmacists. The options are endless and the demand is definitely present.

Ethics

If you want to run a successful geriatrics practice, then it’s vital that you follow the basic principles of palliative care and end-of-life care to avoid ethical issues. You’ll always have to catch yourself but there are standard instructions for this sort of situations so you merely have to follow them.

These are the basic principles behind geriatrics. If you’re considering this field for your professional career, make sure you keep these points in mind at all times! Geriatrics can be a tricky field but it is definitely a rewarding one.


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