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April 08 , 2009

Geriatric Medicine

An Introduction


Geriatric medicine is one of the youngest medical specialities in Australia but is also one of the fastest growing. Geriatric medicine offers a more holistic approach to patient care than organ-based internal-medicine sub-specialities. Patient-centred interventions aim to allow the patient to function optimally. This textbook has been designed to inspire and inform students of geriatric medicine about the science and art of aged care.

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The book is structured to follow how geriatric-medicine clinicians approach patients who present with geriatric syndromes and must be assisted by systems of care. In an introductory part, overviews are provided of the biology of ageing, comprehensive geriatric assessment (the cornerstone of geriatric-medicine practice), multidisciplinary teamwork, and community services for older people in Australia. In the second part of the book, over 13 chapters, detailed coverage is provided of the geriatric syndromes, the so-called ‘geriatric giants’, immobility, incontinence, instability, and impaired intellect. In the third part of the book, over 10 chapters, ‘Care in context’ - care of older people in general practice and in residential aged care facilities, rehabilitation, acute and post-acute care, end-of-life issues, legal aspects of geriatric medicine, for example – is the focus; geriatric medicine is placed within the Australian health-care system. Individual chapters are written by specialist contributors. Case studies illustrate key points about assessment and management. Inclusion of three poems, by H W Longfellow, W B Yeats, and Dylan Thomas, will enable readers to ‘feel the heart within geriatric medicine’.

Australasian medical students, junior hospital doctors working in geriatric medicine, and other members of aged-care teams (specialist nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, etc.), will find in this book a succinct, readable, and authoritative introduction to the principles and practice of geriatric medicine.

About the Author:

A/Professor Gideon Caplan, MBBS (Sydney) MD (NSW) FRACP is a geriatrician with 20 years’ experience. He is Director of Post Acute Care Services, which includes Hospital in the Home, and Director of Geriatric Medicine at Prince of Wales Hospital and a Conjoint Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales.

Gideon’s research involves (i) developing and rigorously testing new health services, examining their effects on health outcomes, patient satisfaction, and costs (he has been a chief investigator on five investigator-initiated RCT), and (ii) the pathophysiology of delirium, where he works with a consortium of international investigators.

Gideon led the Prince of Wales involvement as lead hospital in three phases of the National Demonstration Hospitals Program (NDHP) and has served as a consultant to Commonwealth and state health departments, the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council, the Royal College of Physicians, London, and the British Geriatrics Society. He has won numerous awards in Australia and overseas. His research led directly to the wider introduction of Hospital in the Home, Aged Care Services Emergency Teams (ASET), and Advance Care Planning in nursing homes across Australia and internationally. 

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