Geriatrics is the branch of medicine dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease and disability in later life. A geriatrician is a medical doctor who is specially trained to manage the unique health concerns of older patients.
Common medical problems treated by geriatricians include memory loss, arthritis and chronic pain, anxiety or depression, weight loss, incontinence, and falls.
The ability to maintain independence is typically important to older patients, so the geriatric team will also look at many aspects of the patient's life. Who are the caregivers and how are they doing? How well does the patient's home serve his or her needs? Does the patient need help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and preparing food? These are some of the questions that geriatricians ask when they evaluate a patient's health.