Current Trends in Geriatrics

One of the most important trends in geriatrics today is the continuing efforts to treat and prevent delirium in hospitalized elderly patients. Symptoms of this condition surface when the hospitalized elderly patient becomes disoriented and confused while hospitalized. The result is a degradation of health, and it can also lead to prolonged hospitalization and other health complications. Treatment of this disorder includes mental stimulation and keeping the patient oriented in reality.

One of the leading programs in preventing delirium and improving the quality of care provided to elderly patients is the Hospital Elder Life Program, or HELP. Another program who's goals include preventing delirium include the Elder Horizons Program (EHP). Also, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) established minimum competencies in 2007 for graduating medical students to ensure competent care for elderly patients. The twenty six competencies in eight different domains along with full descriptions of each can be found on the Portal of Geriatric Online Education.