Geriatric Medicine is a specialty of Medicine that deals exclusively with the “healthcare of elderly” (Senior Citizen’s). To promote health in elderly people by preventing and treating diseases and disabilities in the elderly.
Who belongs to the Geriatric age group?
Strictly saying, old age is not entirely a matter of only how old any of us are. Some people continue to remain young even in their 70’s age, while few seem to grow old in their 50’s or even earlier. Therefore, it is difficult to specify an age limit beyond which a patient can be said to belong to a geriatric age group. For practical purposes, old age can be best defined as the age of retirement; for it is at this time that the combined effects of ageing, diseases, environmental effects and social changes are most likely to cause deterioration in their health. In our country since the age of retirement is around 60 years, the geriatric age group is fixed as 60 years of age and above.
Common Myths about Ageing
The Problem Scenario
As per the latest census, population 60 years of age and above has hit an all-time high, increasing from 7.6 crores in 2001 to 10.3 crores in 2011 (35% increase). By 2021, population 60 years and above is expected to be 21% of the total population. The elderly individuals pose a unique challenge due to their complex health problems. In addition to decreasing reserves, majority of them have multiple diseases like Diabetes, High blood pressure, Heart problems, Asthma and Respiratory ailments, Kidney failure, Parkinson disease, Dementia, etc. co-existing in them at the same time. Many conditions present a typically or have different presentations in the elderly age group compared to young people. And to increase to the problem, many elderly people take typically more than 5 medicines every day for their health issues.