Physicians who specialize in geriatric medicine focus on the care of older adults. They are concerned not only with disease detection and treatment, but also with improving the physical and mental function of their patients. The rapidly increasing elderly population and the potential for many older adults to enjoy an excellent quality of life, have given this specialty great significance for the twenty-first century.
An initial consultation with one of the Institute's specialists in geriatric medicine will ordinarily include a comprehensive geriatric assessment. Such an assessment may occur over a period of one to three visits and will include a complete medical history, physical examination, and assessment of health and relevant psychosocial, functional and cognition issues. Follow-up consultations or tests with specialists in various fields of medicine may be scheduled. Once all consultations and tests have been completed and results received, the patient (and/or in some cases family members) will receive recommendations for ongoing or follow-up care.
The patient may then continue seeing one or more NYPBMH specialists and/or the geriatric medicine specialist who performed the comprehensive geriatric assessment. However, if the patient already has satisfactory relationships with NYPBMH primary care or specialist physicians, he or she will generally go back to these original physicians for primary or follow-up care.