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I have to find a doctor for my Mom as her GP retired. She currently only has a Heart Specialist but not a Neurologist. I understand a Gerontologist covers problems related to the elderly but I do not know if they replace a GP or if they are in addition to a GP and what do they actually cover as far as a patients needs.

Mom has moderate dementia, is 84, and her first memory problems were noticed around 2005 by my father. My daughter and I live with my mother and I am her caregiver and hold POA. Her dementia is getting worse as well as anger issues. I am lost trying to figure out who to go to for help.

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Also, there are doctors who are not Board Certified in Geriatrics, but they specialize in treating the elderly.
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Kthin3, you are looking for a geriatrician not a gerontologist, I mean one could be both, but you want a geriatrician, maybe that will make your finding one easier in your area.
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In fla where my parents live, they have Humana Gold (not so golden). They have to go the Island Doctors per Humana . Not sure the doctors they see are gerontologists or just regular PC. Are are 83 and 81 dad has dementia with Lewy bodies and total body atrophy, mom is in middle stage dementia. Sis and I want to make sure they are getting proper medical care.
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I forgot to add, the Medicare preventative exam also includes about 10 questions related to memory. One has to duplicate the drawing of two hexagons or rectangles placed inside one another, repeat three words, then later recall them, then later recall them (3) in all, some walking (gait) related moves, as well as date, time and place questions. These tests are basically the same so the gerontologist can have a whole picture of the seniors' health. Again, best wishes.
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All of the answers here are excellent and I believe, totally correct. If you can get a Gerentologist MD for you mom it would be EXCELLENT. My parents (89 & 93 yrs old, both with dementia) do not have one as they are quite difficult to find where we live (northwest suburbs of Chicago) and the few that are out here are not taking new patients. IF ANYONE here knows of any Gerentologists in the NW suburbs of Chicago, specifically affiliated with Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, IL, I would be very grateful to get the info. Thanks Wyndie for posing this question!!!
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A gerontologist is an excellent choice for your mother's overall healthcare issues. As was described by others above this type of physician is well-versed in older age-related issues and will test for functions of the body a GP might miss. Yes, Medicare does cover a yearly "preventative" series of tests (go to medicare.gov), and since I'm turning 65 this November, I've already scheduled my appointment with my doctor to get a "tune-up" ( a little nurses' humor folks). Included in those tests are for bone density (DEXA), a chemistry panel, and ask for Vitamin D, B-12, TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), and mammogram. There is also a pap test which will also screen for HPV virus. Best wishes with your mother and keep asking questions! Knowledge is Power.
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This may sound like a stupid question, but I'm hard-pressed for opinions here -- Do you all know if insurances accept and adequately cover for a geriatric doc?
I assume Medicare accepts them. In the quick skim of info I've done, I didn't see many, even in the fairly large town my parent lives in.
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I agree wholeheartedley with ba8alou, my mother's medications were dramatically changed from what the gp had her on. The primary care physician had my mother on 200 mgs of thyroid med, Geriatrician changed this to 50mg a day, I had questioned the doctor on too much thyroid med, no help from him. He had her on bp med, she was taken off this and the antidepressant. So, in my book a specialist for the elderly just like a pediatrician is the best in my book.
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I can only say good things about getting a Geriatrics MD to replace your GP for your elderly mom. My mother's health has been SO MUCH BETTER since seeing a doc who specializes in the elderly. Fewer medication changes, fewer medications, more hands on, up close care and monitoring.
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Geriatricians are primary care doctors for the elderly and can be consultants for other physicians and hospitals that work with the elderly.
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A gerontologist is a medical professional who studies and treats conditions related to the aging process. He or she typically works with populations of elderly patients to understand the biological aspects of aging and the various medical and social issues faced by older citizens. Some professionals conduct detailed laboratory research on diseases and aging in general, while others work in hospitals and nursing homes to provide direct care for patients. A gerontologist may also become involved in advocacy or public policy work to help improve health care services for the elderly. The Geronologist may become licensed to become a Dr. of Geriatrics but if this is not the case then you would require a Geriatrics Dr.
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Gerontologists the study of the aging processes and individuals as they grow from middle age through later life. Geriatrics is the comprehensive health care of older persons and the well-being of their informal caregiver. So what you really need is a Geriatric doctor for your mom - which is a doctor that only deals with elders. And they replace a GP and can prescribe medicine and such just like a GP. I strongly suggest you set up an appointment as soon as possible with one to see if they can help you with your mom's dementia and anger issues. Good luck!!
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