Elderly care medicine
The elderly care physician is a physician who specializes in long-term care for frail elderly people and chronic patients with complex health problems. Like other medical specialists, elderly care physicians are officially registered. It is unique in the world that The Netherlands have specially trained physicians for this target group.
Specific knowledge and experience is necessary to treat and guide elderly people and chronic patients with complex health problems. Because of the complexity of their disorders, patients use many different types of medication. Therefore, an elderly care physician must apprehend the profound effect of multi medication (polypharmacy).
The medical problems of elderly care physicians’ patients are divers. Most patients are elderly people, but sometimes young people are taken to a nursing home too, because of a chronic disease or their need for physical therapy.
It is extremely important that an elderly care physician is patient and that he can listen carefully. In counselling, the elderly care physician will not only consider the disease(s), but also the effects of the health problems on the daily life of those patients and the people near to them. He will do his utmost to maintain the best possible level of functioning and the best possible quality of life.
If possible, the elderly care physician will discuss long term effects of the disease with his patient, and the best way to prepare for any changes. The elderly care physician will not only listen, but will also offer expert advice and will respect the patient’s wishes.