What Are the Differences Between Gerontology & Geriatrics? Phoenix Home Care Explains

Older woman showing heart symbol with her hands

Phoenix Home Care & Hospice specializes in new beginnings for caregivers and clients. A large part of our mission revolves around elderly clients recovering from hospital stays at home and older adults who prefer to live at home instead of an assisted living facility. 

Caring for the elderly includes two formal disciplines: gerontology and geriatrics. Today’s blog from Phoenix Home Care discusses the differences between gerontology and geriatrics in today’s blog.

Related Post: Essentials of Elderly Care at Phoenix Home Care & Hospice 

Gerontology 

Gerontology is the study of aging and older adults. Many disciplines have interests in gerontology, including medicine, sociology, government, and psychology. Other disciplines interested in gerontology include history, philosophy, economics, and literature.

How do these disciplines combine to study aging? Scientists perform studies on how people age, both physically and mentally, as well as individually and as a society. Doctors then take these studies and recommend treatment options for their patients. Psychologists utilize mental health studies to recommend therapies. Government agencies can pass laws and enact policies that help an aging population. Economists can predict financial forecasts based on retirees leaving the workforce.  

The science behind gerontology isn’t just about people who are retired. Gerontologists often begin studying people in middle age. The many disciplines and wide age range for gerontology indicate this is a broad, comprehensive field. The clinicians and leadership team at Phoenix Home Care pay attention to gerontology as a formal study.

Geriatrics

Geriatrics falls under the umbrella of gerontology. It’s the medical specialty focused on the care and treatment of older persons. Typically, this means caring for people 65 and over. Geriatrics continues to be a rising field. By 2030, the U.S. Census Bureau notes that all Baby Boomers will be 65 and older. They number around 73 million people. By 2050, one in five people will be 65 and over in America.

Geriatric doctors and nurses are trained to treat many kinds of conditions and situations that need special attention. Treating patients with multiple medical conditions represents another issue facing geriatric clinicians. An elderly person may be in the hospital due to a broken hip from a slip and fall. However, the patient may also suffer from a heart condition, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, or other health problems. Prescription drug interactions are critical to consider when multiple medical conditions come into play.

Another problem is that elderly patients typically don’t heal as fast as younger ones. This is where Phoenix Home Care comes into play as part of geriatrics. Our skilled nursing staff understands and carries out detailed medical instructions during each patient’s recovery. We know about pain management, physical therapy, nutrition, and mental health. Our teams keep accurate records and consult with each client’s primary care team to deliver the best possible in-home care.

Related Post: Elderly Care: How to Keep Loved Ones Safe and Comforted During Stay-at-Home Periods

Compassionate In-Home Care by Phoenix Home Care

Phoenix Home Care believes in new beginnings for our clients. If you or a loved one needs some extra medical attention while living at home, consider in-home services from our team. Contact Phoenix Home Care or call toll-free 1-888-830-2388 if you have questions for us.

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