Geriatric Medicine in New Jersey
As people age, their healthcare needs change, and they may require a physician with more experience serving older individuals. Patient-centric and fully integrated, the medical professionals from Nirvana Healthcare Management Services help individuals 65 and older in Essex County, New Jersey. These providers diagnose and treat multiple conditions primarily affecting aging adults, conduct comprehensive risk assessments for preventative care, and aid in medication management.
Learn more about geriatric health from Nirvana’s primary care locations: Salerno Medical Associates, Metropolitan Medical Group, Roseville Medical Society, and North Ward Medical Arts. Treatments are also available through CHOP/SHOP, which provides house visits to eligible patients.
About Geriatric Care
Geriatric healthcare focuses on the unique needs of the aging population. Providers generally take a collaborative approach to care that ensures their patients maintain control over their physical and mental wellbeing. Some providers are also board-certified and skilled in diseases and disorders appearing more frequently in older populations, such as:
- Arthritis: This condition is joint pain and swelling that leads to stiffness, reduced mobility, and redness.
- Chronic kidney disease: When the kidneys are dysfunctional, fluid builds up and may enter the bloodstream. This illness heightens the likelihood a person will experience kidney failure or heart disease.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): COPD comprises two conditions—chronic bronchitis and emphysema. People with this sickness exhibit coughing, chest pressure, and trouble with airflow and breathing.
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: Dementia refers to symptoms of memory loss that can impact a patient’s daily living. It happens when brain cells associated with cognitive function become damaged. Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia. It typically starts with difficulty remembering new information and progresses to an inability to walk, talk, and swallow.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes struggle to produce insulin, a hormone that transforms food into energy. Without sufficient insulin, a person can develop heart disease, kidney disease, and blindness. Type 1 diabetes usually begins in childhood or young adulthood, but Type 2 develops gradually as a person ages.
- Fall prevention: As people get older, falls become a more serious issue. For instance, breaking a bone can lead to a longer-lasting disability. Doctors provide aging patients with fall prevention screenings, as well as strategies to mitigate their chances of getting injured.
- Hypertension: More commonly known as high blood pressure, hypertension stems from narrow arteries that impede blood flow to the heart. This issue can occur for years without a patient realizing it and leads to severe health conditions, like a stroke, heart attack, or aneurysm.
- Osteoporosis: This disorder occurs when new bone develops slower than old bone breaks down. It weakens bones and makes mild actions, like coughing or bending over, cause fractures.
Since many older adults take more than one prescription drug, a significant portion of geriatric medicine involves medication management. Providers are familiar with adverse reactions that happen when certain medications interact and help patients safely navigate complex pharmacotherapy treatment plans.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Medical issues affecting older people originate in different parts of the body, and doctors use numerous tools and tests to diagnose these conditions. One or more tests may be recommended to help the patient gain a clear picture of their overall health. The following are a handful of diagnostic methods for diseases and disorders mentioned above.
Laboratory screenings and imaging are among the most common diagnostic techniques, as they give doctors a wide range of insights. However, certain tests are geared specifically toward older populations. For example, balance and videonystagmography (VNG) testing assesses fall risk in patients 62 and over, and cognitive assessments are done on patients 65 and over for insurance compliance. Neuro-cognitive testing is also available for patients with memory concerns.
Treatment varies based on the specific ailment. Many times, no cure is available for conditions impacting older people. Instead, physicians will provide medications to manage symptoms, lifestyle changes that mitigate the effects of the disease, surgery to correct a damaged area of the body, or rehabilitation to promote a higher quality of life.
Get In Touch with a Nirvana Healthcare Management Services Provider
Older patients looking for a trusted provider that values their unique needs and delivers holistic, comprehensive care should turn to Nirvana Healthcare Management Services for assistance. The healthcare network is committed to upholding a standardized patient experience across all locations in Newark and East Orange, NJ, including Salerno Medical Associates, Metropolitan Medical Group, Roseville Medical Society, and North Ward Medical Arts. Additionally, at-home services are offered through CHOP for those who qualify. Call us to learn more about geriatric medicine or schedule an appointment with our patient coordinators today.