Geriatrics , the rise of a “young” discipline

Thibaud De Blauwe Published in the journal : January 2020 Category : Geriatry

Summary :

Long before our time, the Egyptians, Greeks, and medieval scholars were already interested in the pathologies and other illnesses related to old age. In addition to a brief summary of the history of geriatrics, this article offers a reflection on the origin of this young discipline. Geriatrics took off quite rapidly, proposing innovations in the care of frail elderly patients and their relatives, creation of a care program, partnerships, as well as the integration of multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. Many areas are still evolving, such as sarcopenia, frailty, or care of elderly patients within the emergency room, as well as optimization of elderly patient care at the hospital.

Key Words

Geriatrics, history, timeline, emergency, interdisciplinarity

What is already known about the topic?

Geriatrics is a young discipline, in full evolution, whereas it comes to us from the premises of the History. She was the first to integrate multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, to organize a vast program of care and to establish many partnerships (which she continues to do). Despite this, few students and doctors intended for this discipline. A shortage is announced in the coming years. Many questions arise as to its future and the optimization of the care of the elderly patient in hospital.

What does this article bring up for us?

This article offers a timeline of the significant events that have punctuated the evolution of geriatrics from Antiquity to the present days, as well as a reflection on the history of this discipline in the world and the concept of old age. It describes the current problems concerning the lack of vocations and probable shortage of geriatricians in a near future, while suggesting ways to remedying these issues. Lastly, it puts on challenges, such as revising the training of "big Gs" and taking care of elderly patients in the emergency room.