About Geriatrics

Our bodies change over time, and our health care needs to adapt with us. Geriatrics is the specialty focused on the high-quality, person-centered care we all need as we age. “High-quality care” aims to improve health, independence, and quality of life for older people. “Person-centered care” puts our personal values and preferences at the heart of our care decisions.

Geriatrics is leading the way when it comes to thinking about health, care, and healthcare quality differently.


Who Benefits from Geriatrics Expertise?

Because geriatrics is so person-centered, different people may benefit from geriatrics expertise at different times. There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but it’s generally best to start working with a geriatrics professional when:

  • An older person’s condition causes considerable impairment or frailty (this tends to happen after age 75 or when someone starts managing a number of health conditions).
  • An older person’s family, friends, or other caregivers start feeling considerable stress related to care.
  • Older adults or their caregivers start having trouble following complex treatments or working with many different healthcare professionals for multiple health needs.

Learn more about older adults in the U.S.

What Do Geriatrics Leaders Do?

Geriatrics is leading the way when it comes to thinking about health, care, and healthcare quality differently.

  • Geriatrics has developed a strong research and clinical base since it was first conceived in the 1940s.
  • Core concepts in geriatrics—such as hospital readmission and managing multiple chronic conditions—have become key measures of quality in today’s health care.
  • The movement in healthcare towards rewarding the value of care provided also has stimulated interest in geriatrics innovations on everything from team-based and person-centered care to patient safety and transitions of care.
  • Geriatrics leaders have developed training programs within academic medical institutions to support and educate the next generation of health professionals.

The AGS is a professional society of nearly 6,000 geriatrics healthcare professionals. AGS members are dedicated to improving the health, independence, and quality of life of older people by providing leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public for implementing and advocating for patient care, geriatrics research, professional and public education, and public policy supporting us all as we age.

Learn more about the geriatrics workforce.

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Meet the geriatrics leaders of today shaping the care we all need for tomorrow.

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