Geriatrics, or geriatric medicine,[1] is a medical specialty focused on providing care for the unique health needs of older adults.[2] The term geriatrics originates from the Greek γέρων geron meaning "old man", and ιατρός iatros meaning "healer". It aims to promote health by preventing, diagnosing and treating disease in older adults.[3] There is no defined age at which patients may be under the care of a geriatrician, or geriatric physician, a physician who specializes in the care of elderly people. Rather, this decision is guided by individual patient need and the caregiving structures available to them. This care may benefit those who are managing multiple chronic conditions or experiencing significant age-related complications that threaten quality of daily life. Geriatric care may be indicated if caregiving responsibilities become increasingly stressful or medically complex for family and caregivers to manage independently.[4]

An elderly woman in a residential care home receiving a birthday cake
Significant diseasesDementia, arthritis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's disease, atherosclerosis, heart disease, high blood pressure,
  • Physician
Occupation type
Activity sectors
Education required
Fields of
Hospitals, Clinics

There is a distinction between geriatrics and gerontology. Gerontology is the multidisciplinary study of the aging process, defined as the decline in organ function over time in the absence of injury, illness, environmental risks or behavioral risk factors.[5] However, geriatrics is sometimes called medical gerontology.

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Geriatrics, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.