Primary care is not same as Geriatrics Specialty care, like Hypertension treated by a primary doctor vs a cardiologist. There are limitations, because of the education, the foundational knowledge, expertise, interest, specialization.
However in places where Geriatrics care is not available, primary care doctors are as adept as the Geriatric Specialists. Given the circumstances, it is best to use resources to learn, motivate, update, prevent, and support healthy ageing.
There were many reasons one seeks the specialist:
1. Easy availability of the Geriatric specialist
2. Second opinion about a subject/ issue/condition
3. Comprehensive assessment
4. Working with an elderly with multiple issues, polypharmacy,
5. Wanting a team approach, involving ancillary health care professionals
There are also reasons to know when to seek the help one a Geriatric specialist:
1. The senior is having multiple issues, including sudden or unexpected decline
2. Needing info on resources to help the family with legal documents, power of attorney, mental
3. Thorough assessment when finding or looking for a care facility or home, to get detailed
4. Documents completed for moving a senior to a different home
5. Coordination of care between different specialists of a senior patient
6. Discussing cognition, mental health issues of elderly , treatment
7. Completing forms for end of life care, after realistic discussion
8. Addressing polypharmacy, multipharmacy issues
9. Care planning for the senior, being proactive , regarding pending future deterioration of a senior
10. Understanding and figuring out caregiving issues and crisis
11. Discussing overall goals, needs of seniors
12. Bringing in Quality of life for a senior
There are many more…however let not the lack of a Geriatric Specialist in your area prevent one from getting the right care… Just ask, ask, ask, and join senior services, support services, clubs for seniors or families with seniors or suffering a specific condition or disease, get recommendations, interview and decide to partner.
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