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Geriatric Medicine at Drexel Internal Medicine

Drexel Geriatrician Brent Simmons, MD, visiting a geriatric patient in Philadelphia.

Sooner or later, despite our best efforts, we all must endure the effects of aging. This can be as simple as fatigue or as complex as dementia. Sometimes it's a combination of medical issues. This is where a geriatrician can help.

Geriatricians specialize in assessing and treating common problems associated with aging. They help patients develop the best course of action for care and can coordinate that care through various medical specialists.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Philadelphia has one of the largest geriatric populations in the country, with more than 12 percent of people over the age of 65. At Drexel Medicine we recognize the need for quality senior care, and we offer geriatric services to those who require help managing the effects of their aging.

Should I See a Geriatrician?

While you should consider seeing a geriatrician once you reach 65, it's not a requirement. Generally speaking, you should go see a geriatrician when your medical issues, due to aging, are too much for you or your family to handle alone.

Some key signs that it may be time for you to see a geriatrician include:

  • Your condition causes considerable impairment and frailty
  • You are coping with multiple diseases and disabilities
  • You have substantial problems with cognition or dementia
  • You need help managing your prescription medications
  • Family members and friends are feeling considerable stress and strain as caregivers

If you're not sure if you should see a geriatrician, you can schedule a geriatric assessment to determine your current health status and whether or not you should see a specialist.

What Is a Geriatric Assessment?

A geriatric assessment is the first step toward getting the care and treatment you need. It provides your geriatrician with a baseline, which they can use to monitor your progress.

A geriatric assessment usually involves:

  • A complete physical
  • A comprehensive medical history review
  • Cognitive testing
  • Medication assessment
  • Functional assessment
  • Depression screening
  • Vision and hearing tests
  • A social worker evaluation

When it's time for your appointment, there are a few things you should bring with you (if they apply). These include:

  • A list of your current medications
  • Glasses prescription
  • Hearing aid
  • Dentures
  • Names of previous doctors
  • Notes on your family health history

Geriatrician Services

If you've determined that you need a geriatrician, we're here to help. Drexel Medicine, with its network of specialists, is able to provide unparalleled geriatric services to elderly patients in the Philadelphia area.

Our geriatric services include:

  • Memory disorders and dementia screening and management
  • Medication management
  • Chronic disease management
  • Specialized care tailored to your medical problems
  • Physical therapy
  • Cardiac care
  • Nutrition consulting
  • Pain management

Drexel Geriatricians

At Drexel Medicine, we have a team of physicians who specialize in geriatric medicine. Our geriatricians work closely with several specialists in Philadelphia, so they can coordinate the best possible care for their patients.

The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.

The images being used are for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted is a model.

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