Geriatrics is a sub-specialty of internal medicine that focuses on health care of elderly people. DESUN aims to promote health among the senior citizens of Kolkata by preventing and treating diseases and disabilities in older adults. There is no set age at which patients may be under the care of a geriatrician, or physician who specialises in the care of elderly people. Rather at DESUN this decision is determined by the individual patient's needs.
Geriatrics differs from standard adult medicine because it focuses on the unique needs of the elderly person. The aged body is different physiologically from the younger adult body, and during old age, the decline of various organ systems becomes manifest.
The so-called geriatric giants are the major categories of impairment that appear in elderly people, especially as they begin to fail. These include immobility, instability, incontinence and impaired intellect/memory.
Impaired vision and hearing loss are common chronic problems among older people. Hearing problems can lead to social isolation, depression, and dependence as the person is no longer able to talk to other people, receive information over the telephone, or engage in simple transactions, such as talking to a person at a bank or store. Vision problems lead to falls from tripping over unseen objects, medicine being taken incorrectly because the written instructions could not be read, and finances being mismanaged. At DESUN the problem of the elderly are treated not only by medical treatment, physiotherapy but also psychology, counselling and rehabilitation.