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Geriatricians: What do they do for older adults?

You and Your Aging Parents

In the fall of 2012, Hebrew SeniorLife gathered together geriatric thought-leaders, researchers and physicians for our inaugural "You and Your Aging Parents" program, an important discussion about the steps one should take to help aging parents as they make decisions regarding health and well-being. Overwhelmingly positive response indicates the need for this information and Hebrew SeniorLife continues to offer this program. Check our events listing for upcoming events. 

In addition, we published expert advice from the first program in an ebook, You and Your Aging Parents,” which Hebrew SeniorLife is offering as a free downloadable pdf. The discussion also inspired our “You and Your Aging Parents” blog series, a series that includes this blog post and covers the various issues and concerns you may encounter as you and your parent/s continue on the journey of aging.

What are the advantages of consulting a geriatrician?

Geriatricians specialize in health conditions that commonly affect older adults such as osteoporosis, falls, dementia and frailty.  In addition to being board certified and completing a residency in internal medicine or family medicine, geriatricians also complete a separate geriatrics fellowship (one to two years of additional training). A very small percentage of physicians actually specialize in geriatrics; currently there are only 5,000 geriatricians in the U.S.

Geriatricians discuss the balance of quality of life and longevity with each patient to determine what is important to them. They use this knowledge to guide the patient’s medical care. Decisions are based on how tests and interventions will impact the patient’s quality of life, as well as the results from research data to support whether an intervention will impact a patient’s longevity.

Though geriatricians care for the gamut of seniors from the healthiest to the frailest, they are particularly skilled at handling complex multisystem conditions that are common in older patients.

To download your copy of our “You and Your Aging Parent” ebook, visit our website, www.agingredefined.org.

Jennifer Rhodes-Kropf, M.D.'s picture

About the Blogger


Dr. Rhodes-Kropf, is a staff geriatrician at HRC. She received her medical degree from the University of North Carolina and completed her internal medicine internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and her residency in internal medicine at Cornell University/New York Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Rhodes-Kropf, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, completed a geriatrics fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital.

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