Ageing is a global phenomenon. As more and more of us live longer and healthier lives, we need to plan well as we grow older, and work toward the kind of health care system we’ll need in the future. To address this greying population in Kerala, Kinder Multispecialty Hospital, Kochi has a unique Geriatric Department with a team of dedicated health care personnel – Geriatricians, Geriatric skilled Nurses, Physiotherapists, Nutritionists, Senior Councillors etc. Where necessary, specialists from various other departments in the hospital also participate in the medical and rehabilitative care of the patients.
“Old age is not a disease”. Besides the diseases that affect older people, various other issues influence the downfall of the health of the old people and here comes the relevance of geriatric medicine. It differs from Internal Medicine in the focus of the treatment. As people age, they become more heterogeneous, meaning that they become more and more different, sometimes strikingly so, with respect to their health and medical needs. Different organs age at different rates in the same person. Some 70 year old’s walk without support, some cannot. A husband may be actively walking but suffer from memory loss, whereas the wife may be wheelchair bound, but have a clear mind.
Older patients often have multiple illnesses and would be consulting multiple specialists. The treatment for one problem might even make another condition worse since elderly patients are more prone to suffer from adverse effects of drugs. This is an excellent example of how the expertise of a geriatrician can help prevent drug related interactions that at times may be deleterious.
Older patients often visit their physician for a worsening of a chronic condition. This is, at times quite a challenge as these patients are already on various medication regimens for multiple illnesses.
So how do geriatricians do it? Instead of treating each of the many medical conditions separately in older patients, a geriatrician focuses specifically on those conditions that affect a patient’s functional abilities. Trained to treat medically complicated elderly patients, they use a global approach that encompasses aggressive disease prevention and address the social aspects of illness.
The role of the geriatrician is to coordinate and guide a team of professionals not only for the clinical management of acute and chronic disease, but also to optimize and maintain functional status, in a concerted effort to keep the patient out of the hospital and living independently and safely at home for as long as possible.
Geriatric Home Care Services
This is a special and unique service of our Department, first of its kind in Kochi. With the advancement of Medicine and technology, health care has shifted completely to hospitals. Gone are the days when the family doctor visited the home of a sick patient. However, long queues at the counters, cross consultations to multiple doctors make a hospital visit difficult for older patients who often are accompanied only by their equally old spouses. With our outreach services, your loved one can stay in the comfort of their own familiar home while still receiving assistance, ensuring their safety, health, and happiness.
Geriatric Home Care services are for those who have a good functional status and aims to bring the patient back to his / her previous level of activity. While investigating, diagnosing and treating specific diseases, the focus is always on the preservation of function and improving the quality of life. The Geriatrician addresses the patient’s psychological, social and environmental issues as well as his/her medical problems and also frequently works with the family or caregivers who are assisting the elderly. Geriatric care different from palliative care which is comfort care for those who have less chances of recovery and whose expected life is about a year or less.
- Comprehensive geriatric assessment of the elderly
- Fall risk detection
- Screening for common geriatric syndromes
- Optimized medical treatment – both inpatient and outpatient according to the age, medical status and patient opinion
- Investigations appropriate for the elderly and tailored to the particular patient
- Life style advice including diet and exercise programs
- Counseling to family members and caregivers on care of the elderly
- Sub specialty referral where required
- Interdisciplinary inpatient care wherever required
- Cross consultations from allied specialties when requested
- Regular follow up to reduce functional decline in the patient
- Geriatric home care services with Tele medicine support
- Geriatric Executive Health Care package
- Support to old age homes