When your child gets sick, who do you call? If you’re like most parents, you have the number of your pediatrician on speed dial because you know children need specialized care. And while you may not have thought much about it, the same is true for your parents.
Finding a physician for senior loved ones who specializes in senior health care, also known as a geriatrician, is just as important. According to the New York Times, a recent federal study estimated that 30 percent of the U.S. population over 65 needs geriatric care, even more so if they are over 85 and have three or more chronic conditions.
So, if you’d like to help mom or dad find a good geriatrician, here are five questions to ask possible candidates:
- What type of training do you have?
Ask whether the geriatrician has received special certifications or training. Also note whether he or she is affiliated with an academic medical center, which generally offers patients the latest advances in care. At Peachtree Hills Place, our onsite Wellness Center is staffed by a team of three highly trained geriatrician including Dr. Footman, our Medical Director and lead Geriatrician.
- How accessible are you?
Inquire about office hours, who you’ll speak to after hours, and how the geriatrician manages emergencies. At Peachtree Hills Place, our Wellness Center is conveniently located right on campus and is open five days a week. With a variety of services, routine checkups, and highly personalized care on-site, you never have to worry about taking off time from work for appointments, fighting traffic, or looking for parking.
- How will you coordinate care?
Make sure the geriatrician will keep everyone on the same page. Find out how he or she coordinates with specialists such as cardiologists, pulmonologists, and neurologists. Our Peachtree Hills Place medical team knows how important it is to coordinate care and look at the overall picture as seniors often face multiple medical conditions, different medications, and other factors.
- What’s your overall approach and philosophy?
The best geriatricians take into account the whole person – from a physical, mental, and emotional perspective. For example, our medical team at Peachtree Hills Place works with our dietary team to provide the healthy diets customized to specific needs of each Member. Or they may recommend that a Member under their care get involved in a special exercise program with a trainer on-site to address a health concern, or participate in art therapy to lift their mood.
- Will you involve our family?
It’s important to have a geriatrician who understands how to foster good relationships with you and other family members to improve outcomes. For example, Peachtree Hills Place geriatrician, Dr. Lazarus says, “The hallmark of my care philosophy is relationships. By creating educational opportunities combined with close and frequent touchpoints with Members and their families, we can diagnose earlier, provide lifestyle approaches to slow progression of disease, and monitor progress on a more regular basis.”
Contact Peachtree Hills place today to learn more about our geriatricians and on-site Wellness Center.