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Geriatric specialists focus on senior healthcare

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Most people who have a little age on them see their share of aches and pains they haven't dealt with before.  

Robert Satterlee said they just creep up on you. 

"Well, I have these pains in my knees. Sometimes when I bend too low or I bend down too long, it's hard to get back up," said Satterlee.

Sabrina Lewis agrees.

"Of course, getting older, as a woman, we go through 'the change' and your nerves are not as good as they used to be. That's my biggest issue," she said.

Sometimes something as simple as walking up a hill can be a strain on the knees. Similar ailments often mean that people go and seek out a geriatric doctor. That means board certification in that area.

Geriatric medicine is reported to be a unique approach to healthcare focusing on the needs of older adults.

Dr. Farrah Ibrahim is a geriatrician.  

"With aging, we will be exposed to certain aliments like memory problems, for example. Also with aging, the body won't react to disease the same as younger patients," said Ibrahim.

They try to balance quality of life issues with treatments, keep people in their home environment as long as possible, and recognize the special needs of older adults.

When special needs arise, she said start with your regular doctor. 

"You need to talk to your family physician or primary care physicians," said Ibrahim. 

She said most primary and family care physicians have some geriatric training.

"If you are in an area where there is a board certified in geriatrics or a physician with geriatric experience, it's a good idea to talk to that physician," added Ibrahim.

If a problem is part of the normal aging process, it should be discussed in a constructive manner to work toward a solution.

A common denominator among those in geriatric medicine is a compassion for seniors.

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