Elderly Care Service (Centre for Geriatric Medicine)
Purpose: to improve the health care of older people while improving their independence and social well-being.
WHAT IS ELDERLY CARE MEDICINE?
This is the branch of medicine dedicated to assisting older people. It deals with the different medical issues older people experience, along with the issues arising with ageing. This branch of medicine is commonly referred to as ‘Geriatric Medicine’ in many parts of the world. Although the concept is new in Sri Lanka, it has evolved quite significantly in its over 80 years of practice world over.
Elderly care medicine looks at people holistically, addressing not only their medical issues, but also the psychological, physical, social and spiritual aspects as well, optimizing the patient’s overall quality of life.
WHY DO OLDER PEOPLE NEED A SEPARATE BRANCH OF MEDICINE?
Older people usually develop issues that are unique and are a result of ageing, in addition to having medical conditions as any other person would. i.e. Difficulties walking and problems with balance, making them vulnerable to falls; Constipation & incontinence are common; Psychological issues, problems with memory, dementia, loneliness & bereavement due to separation are frequently seen; Bone fragility and chronic debilitating illnesses such as Parkinson's Disease too are prevalent.
Managing the health & wellness of an older person usually means managing varying combinations of these issues alongside the medical conditions they may suffer from. This requires specialist knowledge, backed by the related services, for the best outcomes.
To provide the most holistic health & wellness care, to improve the quality of life for older people, through outpatient and inpatient clinical services.
Continued follow through and support, where required, post discharge from inpatient care.
Guidance to families & caregivers on how best to care for older relatives.
- Assessment by an elderly care physician (Geriatrician) at the clinic, with ready access to other associated services. i.e. physiotherapy, occupational therapy, diabetic care, speech therapy, etc. based on the requirement.
- Assessment to determine medical, psychological and physical needs.
- Holistic assessment by the elderly care team and elderly care physicians, involving other specialists such as cardiologist, surgeons, etc. as needed
- Coordinating the care of older persons, who have multiple medical issues with multiple prescriptions from different clinicians.
- Assessment of mobility, balance and risk of falls; to provide a plan for improvement if necessary. Relevant medical teams & physiotherapist will be involved based on necessity.
- Improving the quality of day-to-day routine with the help of occupational therapists.
- Dietary advice.
- Psychological support, if needed.
- Frail elderly patients – a plan for optimizing their health & wellness. Inpatient assessments and support with planning for future care, can be provided.
- Assessments for constipation and incontinence.
- Improving total management of older patients with Parkinson's Disease.
- Assessment for rehabilitation needs and making the required arrangements.
- Helping with the care of older patients in surgical units, especially following fractures.