By Dr. Lorie Blessing.
With the baby boomer population booming, many seniors are trying to find doctors that take Medicare. Should these seniors look for just any doctor taking Medicare? Or should they look for doctors that not only take Medicare, but also specialize caring for our aging population?
Doctors that have elected to spend additional time learning how to deal with the unique medical challenges as we grow older are called geriatricians. They focus on the quality-of-life issues and have more experience treating conditions most common in seniors. They’re usually more comfortable taking care of people who have multiple chronic conditions. Geriatricians also understand that older people and their bodies respond differently to many medical treatments, which helps them act accordingly as they treat our aging bodies.
So, how do you find a qualified geriatrician? Internet searches are a good place to start. Look for doctors that participated in an approved geriatric fellowship program. This helps make sure the doctor not only passed a test, but also went through additional training for settings such as the hospital, the office, the nursing home, and private homes.
When should you consider seeing a physician specialized in geriatrics? Many geriatricians suggest starting in the early to mid-60s. This helps the doctor get to know you and how your body functions as you age, allowing them to individualize your care — all of which enhances your aging experience and ensures you the highest quality of life possible.