Geriatricians are physicians specially trained to evaluate and manage the unique health care needs and treatment preferences of the elderly segment of the population. Geriatricians are board-certified internists or family physicians like Dr. Robert Pedroza at AGP Family Clinic who receive additional training and certification in geriatric medicine. Keep reading to learn more about what’s included in geriatric care.
As we get older, our basic physiology changes. We respond differently to medications than we did in our early adult life, and after age 65, over half of the population lives with three or more chronic medical problems. These include:
Such problems threaten seniors’ ability to perform tasks of daily living, which in turn threatens their independence. But having a geriatrician who’s trained to recognize and treat these conditions improves the chances for better outcomes.
There’s no set age to begin geriatric care, but most people transition into this stage of health care when they’re 60-70. And having a family health practitioner like Dr. Pedroza, who also offers geriatric care, allows for a seamless transition into these services when the time is right.
Geriatric care includes preventive health services like physical exams, lab testing, and screenings, with an eye toward the conditions common to elderly patients. If you suffer an illness or injury, we offer sick visits with a focus on a swift recovery.
Medication management is one of the major categories within geriatric care. With multiple chronic conditions that may be treated with several medications by different doctors, it can be a chore to keep them all straight.
Dr. Pedroza stays on top of your medication list, and he periodically reviews all of your medications to ensure they still meet your needs. He also checks to ensure the different medications won’t interact with each other, causing adverse reactions, and he tries to prune down the list of drugs so you take only what is necessary. This helps minimize interactions and reduce the load on your body.
Mental and emotional health are also part of geriatric care. Dr. Pedroza guides and supports you through issues like anxiety and depression that are common in later years. That support also includes making sure you’re engaging in a healthy amount of social interaction and don’t become isolated. Isolation often triggers depressive symptoms that can make your outlook on life worsen. If your mental health problems exceed the practice’s ability to treat, the doctor provides you with a referral to a competent specialist.
And no program of geriatric care is complete without addressing falls and their prevention. As you get older, your risk of breaking bones or of sustaining joint damage in a fall increases, and each successive injury can negatively impact your mental health.
Dr. Pedroza works with you to make your home as fall-proof as possible, such as removing carpet runners from stairs, adding handrails in the shower or tub, and ensuring there’s enough light for you to make your way around your home without misplacing your foot or bumping into something.
If your mobility changes, canes, walkers, or other devices can help you maintain stability while you move through your daily routine. The doctor can recommend specific types to meet your individualized needs.
If you’re moving into the geriatric population, it’s time to consider seeing a physician who specializes in that population, and AGP Family Practice is the place to be in the Tomball, Texas, area. Give our office a call at 832-684-3909, or book an appointment online with us today.