Geriatrics literally means the care of old persons. Practically, geriatrics combines two elements: gerontology and chronic disease management. Gerontology refers to the study of aging. It addresses all aspects of how aging affects individuals—physically, socially, psychologically, and economically. Geriatrics adapts this knowledge to improve the provision of care to older persons. Geriatricians must know how diseases appear in older persons and how to manage them. Many older persons may fail to exhibit the characteristic symptoms associated with a given disease because one of the hallmarks of aging seems to be a loss of reserve capacity, and hence a loss of ability to respond to stress. Most symptoms represent the body’s response to the external stress of a disease, which may be dampened with age. Moreover, older persons suffer from several chronic conditions, making it often difficult to distinguish clearly a new symptom in the context of many existing problems. Geriatric patients need and deserve a great amount of attention to detail to arrive and the most appropriate treatment for their condition. Unfortunately, often the older patient is supplied another pill with little exercise, habits or lifestyle changes to make sure the problem can be managed better, longer. Medication may be the right treatment, but it is hardly ever the only treatment or education that needs to be completed. The category is all about tough cases and what you can do about them.

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