Definition of Geriatric Care in Today's Medical World


The geriatric care definition has changed drastically from what it was just a few years ago. Many factors have influenced both what the care entails and what it means in current thinking. The advance of the Baby Boomer generation has influenced an entirely different way of viewing and coping with aging and health.

Geriatric Care Definition

Technically speaking, geriatric care definition is the medical care of older or elderly people. The scope of the care has changed to include not just the medical needs, but also the psychological and social needs of seniors. More than ever before, geriatric care encompasses a holistic approach to coping with aging and its effects.

Some factors remain unchanged. The body ages over time and use. Body systems may begin to show their genetics and other signs of aging. You will experience the signs of aging such as loss of muscle mass and wrinkling. Try as you may, your body still feels the effects. But more experts believe that people can modify their mental approach to aging and somewhat control when the more physical aspects manifest themselves.

Think about it. While society still associates wisdom with age, it also associates senior citizens with the Red Hat Society and other positive ways of viewing your station in life. Aging is inevitable. What you can change is your attitude about what aging means to you.

Senior Self Care

Today's seniors are more educated than ever before about things such as alternative medicine, senior rights, and health care. You have more opportunities to learn about your options for medical care and assistance if necessary. Also, members of your family have access to more resources to help you make good choices for your care.

Changing Attitudes

Much of the impetus behind this evolution of the geriatric care definition can be traced to society's view of aging. Seniors are staying on the job longer. Some of the stigma of hiring seniors has abated as employers have begun to realize that older employees are reliable and have a good work ethic.

The idea of retiring and then going to live with relatives is not as prevalent today as it was years ago, simply because senior citizens are not viewing age as a barrier to activity and recreation. With greater knowledge and opportunities, seniors have the ability to plan well in advance for retirement and future medical care needs.

With increased knowledge comes a realization that aging does not mean becoming sedentary. Do you want to travel the country or the world? Do it. How about getting that college degree that family and obligations prevented you from pursing? Go for it. The fact remains that the word "geriatric" does not mean the same thing as it did decades ago. It has evolved as people have found ways to view retirement as an opportunity.

What society considers old has also changed. Think that you cannot walk the Appalachian Trail because you are pushing 75? Think again. If you are in good health and active, you can pursue your goals.

Reconsider How You Think About Geriatric Care

It used to be that when you "got old", the only thing waiting for you was the nursing home. The stereotypical associations were anything but pleasant. Today, you can choose assisted living or you can employ a caregiver to help you with tasks that you may find difficult. The point is that as an aging adult, you have more options.

At one time, a geriatric care definition might be associated with depressing subjects, such as dealing with the inevitable failing of mental and physical health. That no longer needs to be the case. Mental well-being is just as important as the physical aspects. The mind is enormously powerful, more so than you may realize. As Marilyn Ferguson in "The Aquarian Conspiracy" said, "Of all the self-fulfilling prophecies in our culture, the assumption that aging means decline and poor health is probably the deadliest."

The challenge for you as you age is to make your own assessment of your health and medical needs. Certainly you have the information and tools to maintain your good health. All it takes is embracing the here and now and choosing to take charge of your life.

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Definition of Geriatric Care in Today's Medical World