There has been a significant increase in the number of frail older patients diagnosed with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) over the past thirty years. These elderly patients have high levels of comorbidity, and as a consequence the face of renal medicine is changing—There is an increasing need to focus on traditionally geriatric areas of expertise such as falls prevention and rehabilitation, and to shift our emphasis onto improving patient well-being rather than longevity. Over the past decade, many nephrologists have found that they are already acting as de facto “amateur geriatricians”. This denies patients both the benefits of specialist geriatric assessment, and equally importantly denies them access to the wider geriatric multidisciplinary team. This article describes the prevalence and underlying causes of the so-called “Geriatric Giants” in patients with advanced CKD, and discusses possible improvements in care that closer working with geriatricians could bring.
Alston, H., & Burns, A. (2015). Ageing Renal Patients: We Need More Collaboration between Geriatric Services and Nephrology Departments. Healthcare, 3(4), 1075–1085. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare3041075