If you are over 60 or 70 years old, you may have wondered if, in addition to consulting your primary care doctor or instead of this, you should start going to a geriatrician. Geriatricians are general practitioners or internists with specialized training to meet the health needs of older adults. According to the American Geriatrics Society, about 30% of people 65 and older need to see this type of doctor. But you may not need to schedule this appointment at the same time you sign up for Medicare. "Geriatricians specialize in caring for people with multiple chronic conditions that challenge their daily physical and mental functioning," explains Michael Steinman, a geriatrician at the University of California, San Francisco. And for that reason, not only age determines the reason to go to this type of specialist. "A 65-year-old with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes could benefit, but an 80-year-old who walks five miles a day and only takes one or two medications does not need this doctor."
You usually see a geriatrician for an initial consultation, with follow-up as needed, says Dr. Mary Tinetti, chief of geriatrics at Yale University School of Medicine. Most geriatricians work in medical centers and use a team approach. For example, in addition to meeting with the doctor, you will see a social worker, a hearing specialist, a nutritionist, and even a physical or occupational therapist during the same consultation. You will continue to see your primary care doctor for everyday things, like checking your blood pressure or a consultation when you get sick. If you are not close to a geriatrician and it is difficult for you to travel to the nearest office, our service would be the most indicated