Doctors, Clinics, and Pharmacies

Senior-Focused Doctors and Clinics

When seeking care from a doctor, dentist, hearing specialist, optometrist, or any other type of healthcare provider, keep in mind that there are many who either specialize in geriatric care or cater to seniors. 

The same applies to clinics, rehab centers, and even hospital units: there are many of these facilities designed specifically with the needs of seniors in mind, offering senior-friendly amenities and services.

Physicians who specialize in senior health and the treatment of disease and disabilities associated with aging are known as geriatricians. They are typically family physicians or internal medicine specialists, and are board-certified in Geriatric Medicine or have obtained the Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Geriatric Medicine.

Many doctors are also members of the American Geriatric Society, a nonprofit organization of health professionals devoted to improving the health, independence, and quality of life for all older people. The organization also advocates for public policies that promote improved health and healthcare for seniors.

While many seniors are comfortable with the doctor they’ve had for a long time, it may be beneficial to switch to a specialized physician who understands and advocates for the needs of seniors.

Signs That It May Be Time to Switch Doctors

  • Your doctor attributes many of your complaints to “age” without further investigating symptoms to get to the root cause
  • Your doctor seems rushed through your visits
  • Your doctor does not take the time to listen to your complaints, or often interrupts
  • You sometimes feel like your doctor is patronizing or talking down to you
  • Your doctor does not consider your lifestyle or resources when recommending a course of action. For example, recommending daily swimming for exercise even though you have no access or transportation to a pool
  • Your doctor often prescribes medications or procedures that seem to offer no improvement

Senior-Focused Pharmacies

Many pharmacies today strive to be senior-friendly. Some have increased their services to seniors, expanded their product offerings, and even modified packaging to better accommodate the needs of seniors (for example, prescription labels with larger text to make it easier to read).

Pharmacies will also frequently create programs geared toward seniors. These may range from consultation programs—in which a pharmacist will review all of a patient’s medications, plus answer questions about their Medicare coverage—to follow-up services, where a pharmacist calls to ensure that the patient understands the dosage is not having any problems taking their medication.

Some pharmacies even have onsite clinics with nurses on hand to give flu shots, for example, or treat for minor ailments to save patients a trip to the doctor.

And most pharmacies carry a large selection of products for seniors – including caregiver supplies and mobility products like canes and walkers. Some even offer an extensive line of home medical equipment and supplies.

Many also have senior discounts, and some even provide home delivery services.

A life not lived for others is not a life

-Mother Teresa