Geriatric Healthcare: Independence & Quality Of Life In Aging Adults

Geriatric healthcare is a medical specialty focusing on the aging population. The specialty addresses the unique needs of seniors. Addressing their unique needs promotes independence, well-being, and a high-quality life. However, to do this, geriatrics follows four fundamental principles.

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Four Principles of Geriatric Healthcare

Geriatrics follows four fundamental principles to ensure a holistic approach to care. The four guiding principles include individualized care, multidisciplinary collaboration, prevention and maintenance, and continuous care.

Personalized Care

One of the first guiding principles of geriatric care is personalized care. This is based on the understanding that no two patients have the same needs. However, you may be wondering how personalized care is determined.

Your family member will undergo assessments to help paint a picture of their unique needs, health concerns, goals, and preferences. Having a baseline understanding will allow their care team to create a plan specifically tailored to them, leading us to the next key principle of geriatric care.

Multidisciplinary Collaboration in Geriatric Care

Now, let’s shift our focus to the second guiding principle of geriatric care: multidisciplinary collaboration. Supporting the holistic nature of geriatric care, your loved one will have a whole team behind them. Multidisciplinary collaboration means healthcare professionals across multiple specialties will collaborate on their care.

Each care team will include different healthcare professionals. Common members of a care team may include physicians, geriatric pharmacists, social workers, nurses, physical therapists (PTs), and occupational therapists (OTs), to name a few. Collaboration from such a diverse group of professionals ensures your loved one is getting the best care for their needs. This team-centered approach to care supports improving the quality of the care plan and its success. The care team will take preventative measures and work to maintain your loved one’s overall health.

Prevention and Maintenance

The care team collaborates on the third guiding principle, prevention and maintenance. They will take preventative measures to lower your loved one’s risk of developing illnesses and maintain their overall health. The preventive and maintenance measures look differently for each senior. Common measures may include staying up-to-date on vaccines, regular health screenings, and lifestyle modifications, to name a few. Staying on top of their health will encourage healthy aging and independence.

However, it is important to note that when these measures are not being actively addressed, care does not stop. This understanding leads us to the fourth and final principle of geriatric care.

Importance of Continuous Care in Geriatric Healthcare

Care never stops, paving the way to the last guiding principle in geriatric care that we will discuss, which is continuous care. Ongoing care management is vital because many seniors have complex needs.

Continuous care means we are constantly tending to your loved one’s needs. This type of care can include seamless transititions between healthcare settings, avoiding treatment gaps, and supporting the best outcomes, to name a few.

Navigating The Process

Now that you know the four key principles of geriatric care, you may feel uncertain about how to start the process. That is totally ok! No need to stress. At CarePlan Geriatric Care Managers, we have your back. We will support and assist you as you navigate the process. Our team of care managers are ready to guide you through each step. You will never be left in the dark as we navigate the process. Together, we will collaborate to ensure that your loved one gets the best care tailored to them.