Geriatric medicine encompasses the whole range of medical problems - from etiology to therapy and prophylaxis of disease in old people.
Characteristic of geriatric medicine is the presence of several concurrent diseases and health problems in the old individual.
The subject also includes gerontology, spanning from cell biology to social planning. A challenge within the geriatric field is the constant need to combine knowledge about natural aging with knowledge about disease. A comprehensive view on the older person and his or hers living circumstances is also vital.
Study of geriatric medicine is of immediate current interest due to the aging population. Attitudes towards aging and the aged have not always been positive and we are having difficulties making the most of old persons' resources. One great challenge for geriatric medicine is to change this. The overall goal of geriatric medicine is to prevent ill-health among older people and through treatment and rehabilitation enable the old person to remain active despite the presence of disease and disability.