Doctors also highlighted the need to train for geriatric and palliative care. “The geriatric population is increasing and they need to be categorised based on their abilities. The cognitive functioning of the patient, mental health, social factors and their dependency on others should also be kept under consideration,” said Dr Spoorthi Arun, American Board certified Internal Medicine Physician from Promed Hospital.
Dr Spoorthi Arun added that the very few geriatric care units focus on physical health, while other issues such as their mental health, financial independence, elderly abuse and psycho-social factors are ignored. We have to ensure that these units are accessible,” added Dr Spoorthi.
Doctors say geriatrics is an extension of adulthood and there are unique needs for this age group.
Senior geriatrician Dr V S Natarajan said, “Patients and doctors are not aware of this discipline and this is why we are emphasising on the inclusion of a course and training on geriatric care in universities. Healthcare personnel working in primary care centres should be given training.”