Content on Demand for Special Sections and Niche Publications
The fact that people are living longer is not news.
What is important is that people live well during these added years.
Last week, we began a conversation on lifestyle changes necessary as you age with Dr.
She talked about changes people need to make to accommodate reduced capabilities that often come with age. Many of these changes, she said, dramatically alter lifestyles.
"How you deal with that depends on who you are," she said. "Two people with the same situation can react differently.
"One can say, 'My life is over because I can't square dance anymore.' And the other person can look for a new way to dance and express themselves to enjoy living longer."
Q: A lot of what you are saying is that we have to know who we are to get the most out of life as we age?
A: Exactly. All you can do is to be able to be part of a positive world even though you have a new way of expressing yourself.
Q: Let's talk about geriatric medicine. Recognizing people have these limitations and guiding them to more positive aging seems to be a major factor in this specialty.
A: Geriatrics really is a new specialty. A geriatrician is a physician who sees the wonder and magic in aging and loves to work with older people.
It's a pretty holistic approach that embraces both the person and the family. We understand the common syndromes that come with age _ such as balance, incontinence, dementia, multi-pharmacy.
Q: Don't your patients see specialists?
A: Of course. But we know the questions to ask to balance lifestyles. We work in teams, and patients have more options this way.
For example, a primary care physician can take care of the usual high-blood-pressure symptoms. But if it gets more severe, you see a cardiologist.
Primary care physicians see older adults who are more healthy. Geriatricians know how to provide the primary care for people with aging problems _ such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, for example.
Q: You said it's a fairly new specialty?
A: Yes, and as more and more people age, there simply aren't enough of us.
We would like to see more healthy older patients and our center sees plenty. But we also see a high percentage of people in their 90s and 100s with multiple chronic illnesses.
Q: What can you tell the patient and family?
A: Not just the name of the illness and how to treat it but also how to maintain and improve function as the patient ages.
(EDITORS: STORY CAN END HERE)
Q: People interested in talking to a geriatrician should call where?
___ (Contact the writer: email@example.com) ___ (c)2012 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Visit The Orange County Register (
Distributed by MCT Information Services
You have 0 items in your Shopping Cart
Our designers can help you lay out a single page or an entire section, doing it in less time and at a cheaper price than you'd expect. Contact us and we'll help get you started.