Geriatrics, gerontology and elderly care
Geriatrics is a field of health care that specializes in the provision of medical care to the old. It focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases. As people grow old, the organ functioning declines and the immune system weakens. This makes them vulnerable to diseases. Chronic diseases such as diabetes are common among the old.
Geriatricians provide medical care to the aged. They work together with other medical practitioners such as nurses and therapists who have specialized knowledge and skills on how to care for the aged. The old are taken care of in hospitals, nursing homes, offices, and homes. A geriatrician has to consider the ability of the person to carry out daily activities, living conditions, and available support. They should coordinate with the family and primary caregivers to provide maximum and quality health care.
Gerontology is the study of the aging process. It studies how aging affects the society and the cognitive processes of an individual. Gerontology focuses on the various body changes that occur during aging, the differences between various generations and similarities in the older generation. Technology has played a key role in the lifestyles of the old. Nowadays, it is easy to order medication online and receive it at your doorstep. The environment in which the old live in and their lifestyles also play a role in the aging process. For instance, exposure to air pollutants promotes aging and can lead to premature deaths.
Elderly care encompasses meeting the needs and requirements of the aged. As a person grows old their ability to perform daily activities such as cleaning, cooking and taking medication declines. They, therefore, need assistance in their daily activities. Primary caregivers concentrate on taking care of the old. They spend time with them to understand them better and keep them company. Whenever a primary caregiver notices symptoms such as memory loss, emotional distress and physical impairments such as blurred vision. It is important to visit a hospital for medical care. Failure to address such issues on time can worsen the situation and lead to long term implications
Gerontology, geriatrics and elderly care are related. However, geriatrics specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of old people. Gerontology is the study of the aging process. It looks at the body changes, mental and social implications of aging. Elderly care is the provision of care to the old to meet their needs and requirements.
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Hickey, Tom, Kathryn Dean, and Bjorn E. Holstein. “Emerging trends in gerontology and geriatrics: Implications for the self-care of the elderly.” Social Science & Medicine 23.12 (1986): 1363-1369.
Arai, Hidenori, et al. “Toward the realization of a better-aged society: messages from gerontology and geriatrics.” Geriatrics & gerontology international 12.1 (2012): 16-22.