Geriatrics at Lotus Diagnostic Centre
The World Health Organization has recently defined the concept of healthy ageing as “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age”. At Lotus, Geriatrics Care is dedicated towards achieving and maintaining a good quality of life for older adults through healthy ageing practices.
As we age, we become more likely to develop different kinds of health problems. These are called geriatric syndromes, which are problems that usually have more than one cause and involve many parts of the body. Geriatric Consultants at Lotus Polyclinic have advanced training in the care of older adults and this enables them to play an important role in diagnosing and managing these syndromes.
There are many treatments available for these conditions that can help our older adults maintain independence and good quality of life.
When Should You Visit a Geriatrics Specialist
Listed below are some common conditions we have noticed in older adults who seek guidance from our Geriatric OPD:
Bladder Control Problems
‘Urinary incontinence’, is a condition where the individual may lack bladder control. This can be a cause of embarrassment which leads to loss of confidence in the elderly person. Urinary incontinence can lead to problems such as falls, depression, and isolation as well. In most cases, incontinence can be cured and quality of life can be greatly improved with appropriate treatment.
Sleep problems can affect the quality of life and can contribute to falls, injuries, and other health problems. This could happen as a result of having trouble sleeping at night or feeling sleepy most of the time during the day.
Delirium is a state of sudden confusion. It is considered to be a medical emergency, similar to chest pain. Our Geriatric consultant is careful to brief patients and their care givers about the signs of delirium so that medical attention is sought right away at the first sign of any sudden changes in mental function.
Dementia is a clinical syndrome that manifests itself through progressive cognitive decline, where in the individual’s ability to function normally is compromised gradually. There are noticeable changes in the way they understand or do not understand what happens around them. Impairment in short term memory and often behaviour changes make it necessary to seek medical help. Although there is yet no cure for Dementia, there are medications to slow down the memory loss and manage the behavioural problems.
Falls are a leading cause of serious injury in older people. There are many lead factors for falling, including safety hazards in the home, medication side effects, mobility and vision problems, dizziness, arthritis, weakness, and malnutrition. Like other geriatric syndromes, falls usually have more than one cause.
Our consultants are able to guide such patients with many treatments, such as exercise and physical therapy, that can help improve their gait and walking that will prevent falls.
Osteoporosis, or “thinning bones,” is a condition that makes the bones of older adults more fragile and easier to break. Women 65 and older, and men over age 70, should get a bone mass density (BMD) test (Link to our test in test menu page). Increased calcium and vitamin D intake, strength training exercises, and weight-bearing exercises prove to be useful in such cases. Also, good medication plan can help keep bones healthy.
Sudden Weight Loss
Weight loss is a very common problem in older adults. Weight loss can be caused by the diminished sense of taste that comes with aging, or it can be a suggestion of an underlying serious medical problem. No matter the cause, weight loss can lead to other problems, such as weakness, falls, and bone disorders.
As a standard protocol weight or appetite check is done to get the baseline assessment of the patient’s condition before embarking on any diagnosis.
Our Geriatric Consultants are trained to offer you expert advice either on symptom management or treatment protocol for any of the above conditions.
Consultation, Treatment & Condition Management at Lotus Diagnostic Centre
- Treatment of Diabetes, Hypertension, Thyroid illness, Ischemic Heart Disease etc.,
- Guidance on general health, nutrition, exercise, vitamin deficiencies.
- Optimization of medication as geriatric population is on multiple medications and therefore vulnerable to have side effects. Our specialists endeavour to have the best medication plan which helps in reducing adverse effects of all medications.
- Medical treatment of Rheumatological illness is provided for older adults. This is supported with opinion from the orthopedists in our diagnostic centre.
- Assessment of falls in elderly age group.
- Advice to care givers regarding diet, exercises and medication plan.
Geriatric Psychiatry OPD
Geriatric psychiatry emphasizes the biological and psychological aspects of normal aging. Our Geriatric psychiatrists focus on prevention, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders in the elderly. Some common conditions referred to our Geriatric Psychiatry OPD are:
Anxiety in the elderly could be due multiple reasons, some common causes being:
- General feelings of poor health
- Sleeping problems
- COPD, certain cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, thyroid disease, and related chronic conditions
- Side effects caused by certain medications
- The abuse/misuse of alcohol
- Improper intake of prescription drugs
- Stressful events like the death of a spouse, serious medical condition, or other life-altering event
Elderly individuals with generalized anxiety may experience the following symptoms:
- Spiralling of worry/anxiety
- Nervous tension or restlessness
- Constant feeling of fatigue and/ or tiring out easily
- Irritability and Agitation
The above symptoms will manifest itself individually or in combination in disorders such as phobia’s, panic disorder, anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder.
Bi Polar Disorders
Bipolar disorders, or manic-depressive illnesses, are marked by unusual mood shifts. These mood shifts may be misunderstood to be a part of the normal ageing process or misdiagnosed as Dementia. Some of the common symptoms being:
- Cognitive issues including memory problems, loss of judgment, and loss of perception amongst others
Vaccinations for the elderly
A decreased ability to respond to immune stimuli can lead to frailty in older adults. This enhances their susceptibility to various life-threatening diseases, and increased need for hospitalisation. It can be further complicated with the existence of comorbid conditions.
Increasing vaccination coverage of older adults is one way to promote healthy ageing. Currently some of the vaccinations that are offered by Lotus Diagnostics for older adults include those for seasonal influenza, invasive pneumococcal diseases, pneumonia, herpes zoster (shingles), meningococcal diseases, pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus and hepatitis.
Our Geriatrics Specialists