Sidney Health Center is pleased to announce that Dr. Jerome Kessler has recently passed his Geriatrics recertification exam. Geriatrics is a subspecialty of medicine that focuses on the health care of older people. While it has been known for many years that the care of older people is different from the care of young people, the formal discipline of Geriatrics did not come into being until the late 1970s. This is important because of “the aging of America” in recent decades. In 2009 approximately 1 in 8 people were over 65 years old. It is predicted that in 2030 about 1 of every 5 Americans will be over 65. The current life expectancy at birth in the U.S. is 79 years (76 for men and 81 for women). For those people who are already 65 years old, statistics say they will live another 19 years. For 85 year-old people, they are likely to live another 7 years.
The science of Geriatrics recognizes that there are some unavoidable changes in our body function as we age: Decreased kidney, heart and lung function does occur, which makes some problems (e.g., dehydration, heart attacks, and pneumonia) more serious. Older people have more diseases, and take more medications (as they should) to treat them; but this increases the risk that they will have drug side effects and drug interactions. It is never acceptable to say that elderly people die of “old age.” They die of specific disease processes. “Successful aging” does not mean the absence of disease – rather it means that older patients are taking care of the problems they have.
Dr. Kessler said that he is “happy to be working in a facility that has the staff and resources to take care of a vast majority of medical problems.” While he does take care of a high percentage of complex patients, he also enjoys taking care of a variety of outpatient and inpatient primary care problems.
Dr. Kessler is certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Family Medicine. Since he received his M.D. in 1980, he has taken a total of 11 national board exams in order to maintain his certifications. He is also certified in ACLS and ATLS. To make an appointment with Dr. Kessler, call his clinic receptionist at 406-488-2550.