Geriatricians Can Help Aging Patients Navigate Multiple Ailments
By Judith Graham, Kaiser Health News
“For months, Teresa Christensen’s 87-year-old mother, Genevieve, complained of pain from a nasty sore on her right foot. She stopped going to church. She couldn’t sleep at night. Eventually, she stopped walking except when absolutely necessary.
Her primary care doctor prescribed three antibiotics, one after another. None worked.
“Doctor, can’t we do some further tests?” Teresa Christensen remembered asking. “I felt that he was looking through my mother instead of looking at her.”
Referred to a wound clinic, Genevieve was diagnosed with a venous ulcer, resulting from poor circulation in her legs. A few weeks ago, she had a successful procedure to correct the problem and returned home to the house where she’s lived for more than 50 years in Cottage Grove, Minn., a suburb of St. Paul.
Would her mother benefit from seeing a geriatrician going forward, wondered Christensen, her mother’s primary caregiver, in an email to me? And, if so, how would she go about finding one?
I reached out to several medical experts, and they agreed that a specialist in geriatrics could help a patient like Genevieve, with a history of breast cancer and heart failure, who’d had open heart surgery at age 84 and whose mobility was now compromised.”
The founder/author of LivingLifeRetired.com is not related to Teresa Christensen.