As our population ages, there will be an increase of chronic conditions managed by medications. The elderly patient does not have the same efficiency or reserve of organ function as was present in youth and middle age. Therefore the elderly patient is at greater risk for routine illnesses developing into life threatening events. Furthermore, medications used to treat their illness used to be dose adjusted to take into consideration the weakened condition of the elderly. Operative procedures and the anesthesia administered must be tailored to provide greater margins of safety.
Much like the sub specialty of care of infants and children requires knowledge and experience with unique set of diseases and treatments, so too at the opposite end of life’s spectrum care of the elderly must be approached by a specialized approach.