Gerontology is a relatively young science that appeared in the last century (after the Second World War) and is actively developing to this day. What is this science? Let's figure it out.
What is gerontology?
Gerontology is a science that studies the aging processes of all living organisms, including humans. The scope of this area of medicine includes physiological, psychological and social aspects. One of the peculiarities of the sphere is that gerontologists work only with elderly people.
The tasks of gerontology
Why do we need to study the aging process? The main task is the concept of the specificity of the development of a particular age-related disease and the appointment of the right treatment. In addition, the gerontologist is able to develop the necessary measures aimed at increasing the life expectancy of the patient. The search for optimal conditions for healthy life of elderly people is also within the competence of a specialist in the field of gerontology.
A more narrow specialist - the doctor-geriatrician - directs his activity to diagnosing and preventing pathologies of an elderly person. And the reception of the geriatrician is not only outpatient or in a hospital. In cases of acute necessity (when the patient does not have the opportunity to visit a doctor on his own), the assistance is provided at home. It is noteworthy that it is possible to apply to a specialist in this field not only on diseases that are specific for the aging period, but also on general somatic (occurring among layers of the population of all ages).
Actuality of the specialty
So, we examined who the gerontologist is. What does this specialist treat? It would seem that a gerontologist treats all the same diseases as an ordinary therapist. Why is there a demand for this profession? The fact is that there are a number of nuances that justify the urgent need for modern medicine in gerontology. These include:
- The need for individual selection of therapeutic measures in connection with the slowing down of metabolic processes in the body of an elderly person. Avoid the emergence of dehydration in this case is possible only with the knowledge of the physician in details of all aspects of the life of the aging organism.
- Significant differences in the rules for the dosage of the same drugs, for young and elderly organisms. The correct purpose of treatment is only by the competent geriatrician.
- Due to aging, many pathological processes in the patient's body can be erased, altered, or even completely atypical. The Gerontologist is able to determine the disease at an early stage, even when his symptoms are not clearly enough. Due to the timely appointment of treatment, it is possible to avoid often disastrous consequences.
- Differences in the normative indicators for young and elderly people. A competent evaluation of any laboratory research or instrumental diagnostics is possible only on the knowledge of these indicators. What is considered the norm for a young organism can indicate the presence of a pathology in the patient of the elderly, and vice versa.
- Older people are an unprotected group of people. They especially need competent care, which can provide a doctor-geriatric not only in the hospital, but also at home.
Features of gerontology
Experienced gerontologist when making any decisions about treatment should be aware of all possible risks. This is especially true for surgical intervention: the elderly person, as a rule, suffers from a number of age (and not only) diseases, which in the case of surgery can carry a potential danger to the life of the patient. The Geriatrician must carefully weigh the pros and cons, correlate the benefits with the risk, and on the basis of their observations and inferences make the only correct decision.
In addition to knowing how to cure this or that pathology, the gerontologist must also be a competent psychologist: the elderly are vulnerable and vulnerable, sometimes sympathy and listening skills are more effective treatment than taking medications. Sincere desire to help the patient, provide proper care and help in organizing self-care in cases of serious illness - such should be the doctor's goals.
A gerontologist at home
An elderly person needs periodic visits, which can cause some inconvenience in terms of arriving at a medical institution. That is why the usual practice in the work of geriatrics is to go home to the patient. In a home relaxed atmosphere, the doctor will examine, consult, and answer all questions of interest in greater detail.
If a patient in his or her age has a serious mental illness, a gerontologist will help. The psychiatrist, who is also a geriatric by nature, will be able to provide competent help and conduct a conversation with relatives on the topic of how to properly care for a sick elderly person.
The most famous centers of gerontology
It would seem that science is quite young, and not every hospital receives a doctor-gerontologist. In Moscow, the task of getting an appointment with a specialist is not particularly difficult. In the city there is a long-established scientific and clinical center of gerontology, which is a branch of the NIMU them. NI Pirogova. In the walls of the institution are experienced doctors who are proficient in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that are typical of elderly people. There is an excellent diagnostic base (ultrasound, MRI equipment, endoscopy, laboratory of functional diagnostics, etc.). Work surgeons, as well as specialists in the field of restorative medicine. In addition, patients can also get dental services.
In addition to the reviewed, there is also the Gerontological Center in Peredelkino, the center of. VM Bekhterev in St. Petersburg. In the regions there are also medical institutions that provide assistance to the elderly.
Cost of calling a doctor at home
If you do not take into account the provision of free medical care to certain categories of elderly people, the cost of calling a gerontologist at home varies on average from 2,000 to 3,000 rubles (depending on the region). For an urgent call you will have to pay a little more expensive.