Geriatric Medicine

Geriatric medicine is a unique approach to primary care that focuses on the special health needs of older adults. UMass Memorial Medical Center has a team of geriatric medicine specialists – geriatricians – who provide comprehensive, compassionate care that recognizes these special needs.

Geriatricians are medical doctors who have completed a residency in either internal medicine or family medicine with an additional one to two years of training in the medical, social and psychological issues facing seniors.

Why Would I (or My Elderly Parent or Relative) Need a Geriatrician?

As we age, our need for health care often increases. We may see multiple doctors and take numerous medications for a variety of health issues. That’s when a geriatrician – a doctor who specializes in the care of older adults – can help.

Geriatricians assess, diagnose and treat the health problems that are common in people as they age, including:

  • Falls and balance issues
  • Incontinence
  • Dementia, Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive changes that occur with aging
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Depression and other emotional issues

With their training and sensitivity to the needs of older adults, geriatricians are adept at helping elderly patients maintain the highest-possible levels of functioning and quality of life. 

What Services Do UMass Memorial Geriatric Medicine Specialists Provide?

At UMass Memorial, geriatricians emphasize continuity of care across multiple health care sites and promotion and improvement of overall health.

Geriatricians often serve as the primary care physician for older persons, especially those with multiple complex chronic conditions. In this role, they:

  • Perform comprehensive geriatric assessments
  • Provide dementia and Alzheimer's disease assessment and management
  • Develop care plans that address a senior’s special needs
  • Provide urinary incontinence evaluation (with the Urogynecology Clinic)
  • Perform polypharmacy evaluation
  • Manage multiple disease symptoms and medications
  • Perform fall evaluation
  • Coordinate the care of specialists and other health professionals including social workers, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and home health aides
  • Provide care in a home visit program and area assisted living facilities, rest homes, and long-term care subacute rehabilitation facilities
  • Refer to community-based resources, such as skilled nursing or long-term care, when needed