EXPERTISE

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Frailty

Frailty is a state where a person has lost their reserve and is very vulnerable to a significant change in health from even a small insult, like a urine infection or adverse drug reaction. Frailty is the result of lots of small changes over time.

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Dementia

Dementia occurs when a person’s memory and thinking have deteriorated such that they can no longer function in daily life. Caused by a variety of diseases, there is no cure but sometimes there are treatments to help manage the symptoms and it is important to review these patients as their medical management can change over time.

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Falls

Falls are a common and scary occurrence. Usually the result of multiple factors, in a falls assessment we'll look at medical conditions, medications, cognition & balance to develop an individualised plan.

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Cognitive Assessment

Cognitive assessment analyses one's memory & thinking. If a decline in memory is noticed, it is important that this is reviewed. Sometimes the causes are reversible, like depression or certain medications contributing to cognitive change.

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B.P.S.D.

Behavioural & Psychiatric Symptoms of Dementia are behaviours people with dementia sometimes exhibit, such as personality changes, aggression, calling out, or even being sexually inappropriate; often nothing like the person was prior to developing the illness. It's important to approach these behaviours holistically, putting the patient’s dignity first.

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Incontinence

Incontinence is the loss of control over bladder or bowels. Managing a patient's incontinence and treating the underlying factors is important as it can make a big difference to their quality of life.

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Functional Decline

Functional decline occurs when someone is no longer able to do their day to day activities as they could a short time ago. While possibly the result of an overall decline, it is important to rule out medical, nutritional and psychiatric causes.

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C.G.A.

A Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) looks at an individuals’ medical problems in the wider context of their social, functional and psychological state. This assessment enables the creation of a comprehensive plan for medical management that is tailored to the individual’s goals and values, and therefore can lead to improved quality of life.

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Advanced Care Planning

We all want to be in control of our own medical decisions, but there may come a time when you can't speak for yourself. A detailed advanced care plan will ensure your wishes and values will be respected.

WHAT IS A GERIATRICIAN?

“A geriatrician is a specialist medical doctor who is specially trained to meet the unique healthcare needs of older adults. Illnesses, diseases and medications may affect older people differently than younger adults and older patients often have multiple health problems and take multiple medications. Geriatricians prevent, manage and develop care plans that address the special health problems of the elderly. Some of the problems we manage are frailty, dementia, incontinence, falls and functional decline.” (Referenced from www.americangeriatrics.org) To be a registered geriatrician in Australia, it is necessary to do a minimum of seven years of postgraduate training and to be a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

WHAT DO WE DO?

ElderHealth Australia is a specialist geriatric medicine practice based in Melbourne, Australia. We offer Comprehensive Geriatric Assessments (CGA) to people sixty-five years and older who have recently been seen by the Aged Care Assessment Service or who live in residential aged care. We are happy to take other referrals with discussion. CGA has been demonstrated to help optimise health and maintain independence. Some of the problems we commonly manage are frailty, falls and osteoporosis, incontinence, memory concerns and medication related issues. There doesn't need to be a particular concern, it can even be just that you feel you or your loved one are slowing down a little.

At ElderHealth Australia we are focused on helping you live well today to age well for tomorrow. We feel that it is important to take a holistic approach to well-being in older age, and that it is important to always focus first on the individual and his or her values, rather than his or her medical conditions. Our primary focus is on living well, as defined by each individual, whether this is maintaining independence, preventative medicine or managing life with memory impairment. We visit you in your home to take away the difficulty of visiting a doctor and to better understand you and what is important in your life. We can also work with you to undertake advanced care planning for your future medical needs.

WHAT IS A CGA?

A Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) looks at an individuals’ medical problems in the wider context of their social, functional and psychological state. This assessment enables the creation of a comprehensive plan for medical management that is tailored to the individual’s goals and values, and therefore can lead to improved quality of life.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

For Patients

Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment has been shown to decrease mortality and improve functional outcomes for older adults (65+) residing in community living arrangements. Many geriatric conditions are inter-related, and so memory concerns, functional decline, falls or patient or family concerns are all appropriate triggers for a CGA.

For Patient's Family & Friends

It can be very stressful to see your loved relative dealing with some of the conditions that are associated with ageing, like memory loss and loss of independence. Friends and family have a unique role in being an advocate for their loved one. As people age, their goals and priorities change, and there is a stronger focus on getting the most out of each and every day. We are able to work with you and your loved one to develop a comprehensive medical plan that is tailored to your loved ones values.

For GPs and Aged-Care Managers

Much of the evidence for certain medical treatments and medications comes from trials which include people of all ages, who are usually in excellent health. As geriatricians, we have expertise in optimal medical management for frail older adults. This enables us to develop an individually tailored medical plan that accounts for the individual patient’s comorbidities, level of frailty and personal values. We are also able to take the time to liaise with the patient’s family or carers to ensure that everyone’s concerns have been addressed.

For the wider community

We are an ageing population that needs more attention. The proper planning that results from a CGA means hospital resources are used only when they are needed, therefore helping create a more efficient health system.

WHAT IS THE COST?

If you are aged 65 or over, the standard consultation fee is fully funded by the Medicare rebate. If you are under 65, you will be charged the full fee, but will still be eligible for a proportion of the money to be refunded through Medicare.

HOW DO I PROCEED?

For more information please read through our Frequently Asked Questions. If you still have questions you can reach us via our CONTACT page. And if you are considering this service for yourself, please note you'll need to discuss with your GP to obtain a referral. Referral forms can be downloaded HERE.