How We Can Help
Decline in Function Treatment Information
IU Health Geriatrics physicians offer specialized services for older adults with a focus on improving health, including:
- Laboratory testing. The first step toward improving your decline in function is determining if there is an underlying cause. Our physicians perform blood tests to check for issues such as nutrient deficiencies or signs of chronic conditions. Vitamins and other nutrients can affect bone density, balance, cognitive function, memory and a variety of other aspects of your health. As you grow older, your body may not absorb nutrients as well as it used to, causing deficiencies and decline in function. A healthy diet and vitamin supplements can correct these issues, improving your overall health. Lab testing can also detect the causes behind a host of other health issues, from declined thyroid and kidney function, to blood sugar issues, to high cholesterol. Correcting these issues can greatly improve your health by restoring energy and reducing pain.
- Mental exam. A mental exam consists of questions that help us determine if your cognitive function has declined or if you have memory loss or depression. These neurological conditions can affect your entire body, causing weakness, fatigue and loss of sleep, even affecting your balance. Improving your mental health with medicines, counseling or group therapy can slow or reverse loss of function in some cases.
- Social history. A social history allows us to know more about you and your family. Aspects of your life, like your spouse’s health, if you live alone and if you are retired can all affect your health. Social histories also let us know a little bit about your habits, such as what you typically eat, how you sleep and if you exercise. By understanding your day-to-day lifestyle, we may be able to spot areas of improvement that could increase overall function.
- Depression scale. Depression has many effects on physical health. A depression scale is a series of questions used to determine if you have depression. Depression is a serious problem among older adults and keeps you from living a healthy lifestyle. Treatment with antidepressants and counseling can help you feel better mentally and physically.
- Medicine assessment. We ask you to bring in all of your medicines so we can identify any issues or interactions they are causing. You are more likely to experience side effects from medicines as you age, which may keep your body from working properly. Common issues include dizziness, loss of balance, memory loss and muscle weakness. We monitor your health and medicines to ensure you experience as few side effects as possible. We adjust your medicines as necessary to improve your health.
- Education. Our geriatrics team offers you the education you need to live a healthier lifestyle. We may refer you to community resources such as support groups, exercise classes or senior community centers. We can also provide education on aging, being a caregiver or advanced planning. We are an expert resource available to you 24 hours a day by phone.
- Referral to specialists. If your decline in function is related to other health conditions, such as heart disease, we will refer you to other IU Health expert specialists who can assist you. IU Health is home to the top physicians in Indiana, including cardiologists, neurologists, palliative care physicians and doctors in over 40 other specialties. We provide coordinated care among our physicians for convenient, personalized care.
Decline in Function Locations & Physicians
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Decline in Function Support Services
Decline in bodily functions is a normal part of aging. Find out how you can slow decline in function and age healthily at the websites below.
A Sampling of Decline in Function Support Services
IU Health Gastroenterology
Our gastroenterology physicians assist you in managing conditions related to your digestive health, such as diverticulitis, colon cancer or acid reflux.
IU Health Heart & Vascular Care
Heart & Vascular Care services help you keep your heart strong by managing chronic conditions such as heart disease.
IU Health Neurology & Neurosurgery
Learn more about services available for neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease and dementia on our Neuroscience pages.
IU Health Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
Visit our rehabilitation page for more information on services that can improve bone and muscle health and keep you active.
Merck Home Health Manual
This manual provides information on how we age and how function declines in different areas of the body.
National Institute on Aging
This government website includes the latest information on research on healthy aging and how aging works.
Grace Team Care
This program, through Indiana University School of Medicine, provides coordinated care for older patients admitted to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital. Our physicians work with this program to improve patient outcomes such as hospital readmissions and admissions to skilled nursing facilities.