About the EPGS:
Board of Directors / Staff |
Geriatrics is one of those words that means different things to different people. Recently, I asked several people what they thought the term meant. A tall, well-groomed university student said geriatrics is..."The study of old people". I asked a well-dressed lady on the train next to me. She said,"Well, being geriatric is being cranky like my eighty-year old father." Finally, I cornered a health care professional at a biomedical conference,and she replied that " Geriatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical problems of the elderly." The answer given by the health professional was the most accurate.
Since geriatrics is also concerned with health promotion, a more complete definition of geriatrics might be this: geriatrics is a branch of medicine concerned with health promotion and disease prevention and treatment in the elderly . No definition of geriatrics, however, will ever be perfect. For example, who are the elderly...what criteria do we use to differentiate an elderly person from a non-elderly person? Traditionally, society has informally used age 65 as the start of old age, because for years, that was the criterion used by the Social Security Administration to define the elderly.
But this definition of the elderly may need to be revised. As you probably already know people today live longer and with better life quality than ever before. The Merck Manual of Geriatics, for example, estimates that 35 million americans were age 65 or older in the year 2000. The manual estimates that more than 75 million americans will be 65 or older by 2040. The fastest growing segment of the elderly population is the "oldest old"- those persons 85 or older. The manual estimates more than 57,000 americans were age 100 or older in 1996 and projects the number to grow to 447,000 by 2040. Since people age 85 and older have markedly higher health care costs, the booming elderly population is expected to increase health care costs and create unique social problems in the years ahead. Geriatric professionals, such as this society, look forward to meeting these challenges. This website is dedicated to their work.
Our Mission Statement
The Eastern Pennsylvania Geriatrics Society (EPGS) is the regional affiliate of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) dedicated to the goal of advancing high standards of clinical care and quality of life for elderly individuals. The EPGS is a multidisciplinary group of health professionals involved in the care and services for the elderly.
Our chapter has a rich history, which you can see by clicking here. Go To The History Page
Specific objectives of the EPGS are to:
- Transmit information and enhance education regarding health care of the elderly to students, physicians, other health care professionals and the public;
- Facilitate increased awareness and dialogue regarding geriatriac social and public policy concerns within the region;
- Encourage collaboration between public and private sectors impacting the quality of life of older individuals;
- Provide a forum for identifying mutual interests in program development which best represent the needs of an expanding older adult population.
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