Why is there a specialized branch of medicine for older adults?

There is a specialized branch of medicine, known as geriatrics, for older adults because older adults tend to have multiple health issues, usually three or more, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or Alzheimer’s disease. Caring for these individuals can be complicated. For example, choosing medications can be more difficult because a medication used to treat one problem can worsen another, or can interact with other medications and cause side effects. Specializing in geriatrics helps a health care professional become more educated and sensitive to the unique needs involved in caring for older adults.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.