Geriatrics is the branch of medicine that focuses on health promotion and the prevention and treatment of disease and disability in later life.

People over the age of sixty-five have different degrees of disability and illness. Some have no problems at all, while others have many serious health concerns.


While primary care physicians - general internists and family physicians - care for most older persons, geriatricians are often sought to provide consultations for the frailest of older persons because of their unique qualifications and training. Geriatricians frequently provide the primary care for older adults who have complicated medical and social problems.

Regardless of an older person's age, a geriatrician should be consulted when:

  • An older person's condition causes considerable impairment and frailty. These patients tend to be over the age of 75 and coping with a number of diseases and disabilities, including cognitive (mental) problems; or
  • Family members and friends are feeling considerable stress and strain as caregivers.