Experience has shown that elderly patients who suffer an accident not only have to be treated for the consequences of the accident but also can have concomitant and pre-existing medical conditions that make this treatment more complex. A so-called “traumatology/geriatric medicine co-management system” has been set up at the Centre for Geriatric Traumatology to ensure that elderly patients receive the best and most comprehensive treatment. A number of professional groups work together to implement an interdisciplinary therapy concept which ensures that patients are offered the best possible treatment and care. Specialists in accident surgery (traumatology) and geriatric medicine and specially trained experts in the fields of nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutrition and pain management all cooperate closely to treat these patients. Numerous studies have proven that using a traumatology/geriatric medicine co-management system in the early interdisciplinary treatment of geriatric traumatology patients leads to significantly improved functional results, greater quality of life and increased survival rates.
Pain management team
The pain management team consists of professionals in various fields. The doctors in the Departments of Trauma Surgery and Geriatric Medicine specialise in the treatment of injuries and fractures as well as treatment of the elderly. They take care of your medical treatment, coordinating it if necessary with specialists in other departments and your family doctor. A special pain management team can be called in to ensure that you receive the appropriate individual treatment for your pain. The nursing team will provide supporting activation therapy to help you practise the skills you will need to cope with everyday life after your discharge. The physiotherapy and occupational therapy team will also provide support during and after your treatment. They will work with you to rebuild your muscle strength and show you how to prevent falls, perform everyday tasks or practice keeping your balance. You will also be visited by nutritional specialists and offered treatment options for optimising your diet. The social services team is responsible for discharge management and is on hand to optimise the patient’s return home to familiar surroundings or transfer to a rehabilitation facility or nursing unit.
Treatment at the Centre for Geriatric Traumatology
After your accident, you will be admitted to the Department of Trauma Surgery (accident surgery) via A&E. Immediately after your admission, you will also be thoroughly examined and interviewed by a specialist in geriatric medicine. Soon afterwards, a traumatologist (specialist in accident surgery) will perform any surgery you may require with the goal of mobilising you as quickly and safely as possible. It is very important to us that you keep your independence and can resume all your previous activities once you have recovered.
During your stay in hospital, the doctors in the Departments of Trauma Surgery and Geriatric Medicine will visit you together to make sure that you get the best possible treatment. This will encompass acute treatment of the injury, the treatment of concomitant diseases, a review of medication, and safe mobilisation and training using physiotherapy. Specially trained nursing staff will provide activation therapy.
Many older people who have been injured in accidents benefit from special intensive early rehabilitation. This provides even more intensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy, and a special nutrition programme is also available. You will also be made aware of specific fall hazards and receive fall prevention training. This so-called acute geriatric treatment is an extended form of rehabilitation and is only offered by specially trained staff in specialised centres. The acute geriatric ward is located in the university hospital and is part of the Centre for Geriatric Traumatology.
You may have to be transferred to another rehabilitation facility or transitional/nursing centre after your discharge. If you are able, we can also organise your return home where, as a rule, you will also receive ambulatory care.
Outpatient follow-up treatment
After your discharge, we will offer you outpatient check-ups during the clinic hours of the Departments of Trauma Surgery and Geriatric Medicine.
Besides administering treatment and checking how your injuries are healing, it may also be necessary to perform additional diagnostic and therapeutic measures.
- Bone density measurement
- Measurement of calcium and vitamin levels
- Osteoporosis screening and therapy advice
- Dietary advice
- Protein and vitamin drinks
- Focused training and improvement of muscle function
- Additional training to prevent further falls
- Outpatient exercise sessions for groups and geriatric patients