What is gerontology
Gerontology is the study of the biological, psychological cognitive, social, cultural aspects of ageing.
Difference between a gerontologist and a geriatrician
A geriatrician is a certified medical doctor that specialises in caring for older adults. On the other hand, gerontologists are not medical doctors. They are professionals who specialise in ageing issues. They can be professionals who are in various fields who have received a certification in gerontology. These professionals are prepared to provide their services and care to older adults.
What do gerontologists do
Gerontologists can be practitioners and researchers in the fields of nursing, medicine, dentistry, social work, biology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, sociology, psychiatry, economics, pharmacy, public health. Gerontologists are primary care physicians who specialise in treating conditions that affect older adults. A gerontologist job scope involves:
- counselling older adults
- teaching in schools and communities
- researching on the effects of ageing and diseases that affect the elderly
- challenging misconceptions about the ageing
What skills do gerontologists need
As gerontologists mainly work with the elderly, they need to have compassion and empathy towards them.
As a gerontologist, having listening skills is important as they need to understand the challenges their clients face on a daily basis in order to effectively treat the problem.
A gerontologist may handle several clients at once and they would need to have good organisational skills to file their paperwork and document their clients’ treatments properly.
A gerontologist needs to be well equipped with problem-solving skills in order to solve the problems that the clients face. They need to develop practical and innovative solutions for their clients.
Gerontologists to consider:
The Geriatric Practice
|Address||38 Irrawaddy Road, #09-21 Mount Elizabeth, Specialist Centre, 329563|
|Telephone||+65 6262 2864|
Chan KM Geriatric & Medical Centre
|Address||6 Napier Road, #08-10, Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore, 258499 |
Mt Alvernia Medical Center D
|Operating Hours|| |
|Address||1 Raffles Place, #19-61 Tower 2, Singapore 048616|
|Telephone||+65 6808 5664|
|Operating Hours||Monday to Friday: 9 AM to 5 PM |
Saturday and Sunday: Closed
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
|Address||11 Jln Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433|
|Telephone||+65 6256 6011|
|Operating Hours||Open 24 hours|
Hua Mei Centre
|Address||298 Tiong Bahru Rd, #15-01/06 Central Plaza, Singapore 168730|
|Telephone||+65 6593 9500|
|Operating Hours|| |
Geriatric Day Hospital in Changi General Hospital
|Address||2 Simei Street 3, Level 2 Changi General Hospital, Singapore 529889|
+65 6850 2969
|Operating Hours||Open 24 hours|
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
|Address||3 Mount Elizabeth, Singapore 228510|
|Telephone||+65 6735 5000|
|Operating Hours|| |
Age Link Specialist Clinic
|Address||3 Mt Elizabeth, #11-02 |
Mt Elizabeth Medical Centre
Singapore 22851038 Irrawaddy Road, #06-21
Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
|Telephone||+65 6535 8833|
|Address||31 Third Hospital Ave, #03-03 Bowyer Block C, Singapore 168753|
|Telephone||+65 6225 0488|
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
|Address||90 Yishun Central Singapore 768828|
|Telephone||+65 6555 8000|
Specialists in the advanced care of older adults
Geriatrician are specialists that diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions and diseases that affect older adults. The conditions include but not limited to:
- heart failure
- balance issues
- hearing loss
- vision loss
Foster healthy ageing
As we grow older and ages, there are certain challenges that older adults need to overcome. Such challenges include physical, emotional, social, and cognitive challenges. Gerontologists educate older adults on how to stay active, healthy and connected to their community and family.
Factors to consider when choosing a gerontologist
Is the gerontologist properly certified
When consulting a gerontologist, be sure to ask what certifications they have obtained or do background research before meeting them. You can also check with the gerontologist whether they are affiliated with any hospitals or universities.
Having easy access to care
Do you need to spend a large amount of time travelling to the gerontologist? Does the gerontologist offer any support outside of office hours or provide an in-house service? Is your insurance accepted?
Communication with the doctor
Are you comfortable with communicating with your gerontologist? Does your gerontologist make you feel at ease? Do you trust your gerontologist and the advice he or she gives you? Being comfortable with your gerontologist is important as it helps you feel at ease and eliminate stressful situations. Also, find out how you will be receiving appointment reminders and how you can request prescription pills.
How to become a gerontologist
In Singapore, having a qualification in Gerontology such as a diploma or degree allows you to be eligible to work with the elderly. You can choose to specialise in three different areas in a gerontology career.
A research gerontologist conducts research on the human ageing process and the living environments of older adults to understand and enrich the lives of elders.
An applied gerontologist work directly with older adults, communicating with and analysing groups, families, and individuals.
An administrative gerontologist uses their training and management skills to develop programmes and coordinate services that they deem to be necessary for gerontology services to run smoothly.
Who should visit a gerontologist
A general rule of thumb is adults who are over the age of 65 should consider visiting a gerontologist or geriatrician instead of a regular doctor.
As we age, the number of medical problems increases and we may start to feel challenged in our daily activities. A consultation with a gerontologist or geriatrician can help if you are managing multiple medical issues and finds them overwhelming. Someone who has difficulty going about their daily activities or wishes to discuss the end of life decisions may benefit from seeing a geriatrician or gerontologist.
What can you expect from a gerontologist visit
It is important for the patient to come prepared with questions about medical issues even if they have not experienced them themselves. There is a list of medical issues that seniors should ask their gerontologist:
- Blood pressure
- Bone density
These medical problems are issues that should be more of a concern as we grow older. Gerontologists can help older adults by giving them advice on what to do, the common symptoms of the medical problems, and most importantly, care and support along their ageing journey.
Should you study gerontology
As the global population ages and people living longer, the study of ageing has also evolved over the decades. With a globally ageing population, society is greatly affected. As the number of elderly continues to grow every day, the world needs experts to address policy and protect the needs of the group.
Ultimately, consulting a gerontologist is your personal preference and it depends on your personal needs. There are several factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing a gerontologist. Ultimately, you should choose a gerontologist who you are most comfortable with and understands your problems fully.
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