My gerontologist read my book Great Medical Care, giving the book a good review. (The book is available online at http://www.lulu.com/product/e-book/great-medical-care-the-handbook-for-making-your-visit-to-the-doctor-better/6081955). She offered several important suggestions for enhancing the care of the elderly, in particular recognizing their cognitive, visual, hearing and mobility limitations.
Giving older patients written, rather than just verbal, instructions is essential. Getting the patient’s attention with a touch and minimizing auditory distractions can help with hearing issues. Care should be taken not to allow mobility limitations from interfering with the performance of a comprehensive physical examination. In addition, the office should provide easy, quick access to toilet facilities to avoid episodes of incontinence.
Her suggestions are practical and important for all physicians.