Future geriatric needs in South Africa; hospital and teaching aspects
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
Noteworthy factors in geriatric care, derived from experience in a geriatric clinic, are that symptoms are often wrongly attributed to the ageing process; the aged are often overtreated and subjected to unnecessary diagnostic procedures; and functional abilities of the elderly and social factors are important in planning comprehensive care for the aged. To render total care the services of a visiting sister attached to the clinic are an absolute necessity. The elderly are often prematurely discharged from hospital. The combination of multiple pathology, functional derangement and social factors necessitates a period of aftercare which entails physiotherapy, occupational therapy and the services of a social worker. Medical students, nurses, students in social work, psysiotherapists, and occupational therapists should be enlightened on gerontology and geriatrics during their undergraduate years.
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