Clinical Geriatrics: A Diagnostic Compendium
We would all like to thank Dr. Richard C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC for his lifetime commitment to the profession. In the future we will continue to add materials from RC’s copyrighted books for your use.
This is Chapter 8 from RC’s best-selling book:
“Basic Chiropractic Procedural Manual”
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Chapter 8: Clinical Geriatrics: A Diagnostic Compendium
The objective of this chapter is to focus attention on disorders witnessed in practice by those dealing with the geriatric patient. Following neurologic disorders, heart, vascular, and blood disorders are discussed. Digestive and gastroenterologic disturbances are then followed by disorders of the urinary system, skin, endocrines, and reproductive system. Next, eye, ear, and throat conditions are followed by orthopedic and respiratory considerations. The chapter concludes with information about the sexual aspects of aging, common complaints and symptoms, and other pertinent considerations.
The topics described in this chapter are not to be considered a complete reference for all geriatric conditions seen in practice. They have been chosen as those most likely to be encountered or because they present a unique situation necessary for differentiation and/or case management.
While some described disease states may not be commonly considered within the scope of chiropractic general practice, their diagnosis is. Thus, this general knowledge will help clarify when referral should be considered, thus serving the best interests of the patient and possibly avoiding a potential accusation of professional negligence.
It is the editor’s opinion that most errors in diagnosis or judgment do not occur from a lack of clinical knowledge. They occur as the result of a hurried history and examination. A clinician must be self-disciplined to give full attention to the patient at hand, without distracting concern for those patients waiting in the reception room.
In past years, it was a frequent fault of young practitioners of all disciplines to contribute age an important etiologic factor. It is emphasized that age alone is an inadequate factor in the cause of severe illness in the elderly. Careful examination, treatment of the whole individual, and prolonged follow-up is necessary for optimal results.
Most pathologists readily admit that disease is a process, not a state, but rarely is the process defined other than to say that disease of any tissue or organ is the result of disturbed function — normal physiology gone wrong. (more…)