Our Geriatric Care Services Include:
Our Geriatric Care Services (Arthritis, Heart Health, Skin Conditions, etc.)
“Aging effects virtually every body system. As geriatricianswe have been trained to identify these changes and to anticipate how these changes might effect you individually. Our training allows us to anticipate what problems associated with aging you might experience and to help you manage them. We chose geriatric care because we truly enjoy interacting with older individuals, who have so much to offer in terms of wisdom and experience. Let us help you to maintain your health so that you can continue to share these qualities with others”.
What is geriatric care?
Geriatric care is the care of older adults. A geriatrician is someone who specializes in caring for aged individuals. We completed a fellowship in geriatric medicine, which is a form of specialization. This means that we are well qualified to care for older adults and their complex health issues.
What changes in the body occur with aging?
There is no body system left unaffected by aging.
- Eyes-you may notice that you have trouble focusing on objects that are close to you. Your eyes may become more sensitive to glare and you may have trouble adapting to changes in lighting (i.e., going from a light room to a darker room). Glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) and cataracts (clouding of the vision) are more common in older individuals.
- Ears– you may become hard of hearing as you age, particularly in crowded or noisy environments, where you may find it difficult to distinguish voices from background noise.
- Mouth and teeth– your mouth may become drier, especially if you are taking certain medications. Your gums may start to pull back from your teeth. Tooth loss or decay may result in the need for dentures.
- The skin– skin becomes thinner and more fragile, leaving you more susceptible to bruising, skin tears or cuts. Your skin will be drier and you may notice the appearance of age spots, skin tags and wrinkles. You will be more prone to infection, so any breaks in the skin should be tended to immediately and watched closely for signs of infection.
- Weight– as you age, your muscle mass will slowly be replaced by fat. You will require less calories to maintain your weight. If you have health problems such as arthritis, exercise becomes more of a challenge and you may find that you gain weight more easily due to a more sedentary lifestyle and a slower metabolism.
- Heart and lungs– arteries become less elastic (stiffer) as we age, which can lead to high blood pressure because the heart must work harder to pump blood through stiffened arteries. Your heart rate may slow slightly. The blood vessels in your feet and legs become less efficient at returning blood to the heart. You may develop varicose veins or hemorrhoids as a result of blood pooling in the veins. As for the lungs, the alveoli (air sacs) can become “baggy”, trapping air and making breathing a little more difficult. The muscles and bones supporting the chest may weaken, altering the contour of your chest. This can also contribute to breathing difficulties.
- Cognition/Mood– memory loss, increased difficulty in concentration and other changes in mental functioning may occur. It may be harder for you to learn and remember new things. Depression is not uncommon among older individuals; loss of a spouse, retirement and moving from a home into a care facility may exacerbate depression.
- Bones and muscles– the bones become weaker and lose density- you may even find that you lose a little in height. Bones become more brittle and more prone to fractures. Your muscles become weaker, which can cause changes in coordination and balance and cause you to be at higher risk of falling. Arthritis is common, as are other joint problems.
- Stomach and intestines– the entire digestive system can slow, making constipation an issue. Medications and lack of exercise can contribute to this problem. The valve that lies between the stomach and esophagus may become less efficient, resulting in symptoms of heartburn and indigestion. You may find that your appetite decreases and foods are a little less flavorful.
- Urinary tract– as the bladder and the pelvic floor muscles that help to control urination weaken with age, incontinence (inability to hold your urine) may become an issue. You may be more prone to urinary tract infections. In men, the prostate enlarges and may lead to urination problems.
- Sexuality– libido decreases in both men and women as a consequence of aging, often due to health changes such as arthritis or heart disease, although sexual intercourse can be just as satisfying. It may take longer for both men and women to achieve orgasm. Men may experience erectile dysfunction, while women may experience vaginal dryness and discomfort after menopause.
- Immunity– as you age, your immune system becomes less efficient at fighting off infections, leaving you more vulnerable to serious infections such as pneumonia and influenza.
If reading the above is frightening, it doesn’t have to be. These days, people are living longer than ever. They are also more savvy about caring for themselves. If you are an older individual, it is important for you to form a relationship with a physician whom you trust. You will need to work hand in hand with this person to manage your health. As a geriatric specialist, we would love to be your aging support person. Together, we will manage any conditions arising from the aging process to keep you feeling young and vibrant. If you need a physician who understands the aging process and passionately believes that older individuals deserve to feel well and function independently, you’ve come to the right place- make an appointment today and discover the Advance Primary Care difference.