Definition of geriatric in English:



  • 1Relating to old people, especially with regard to their healthcare.

    ‘a geriatric hospital’
    • ‘Compared with these school environments, the indoor climates at our geriatric hospitals were characterized by higher room temperatures and lower relative humidity.’
    • ‘Some were community dwelling ambulatory patients attending a health clinic and others were inpatients on a geriatric ward.’
    • ‘Potential members of the study were identified at 22 community-based health care centers with geriatric long-stay facilities.’
    • ‘An ongoing evaluation of effectiveness requires reassessment at regular intervals to rethink medication regimens in light of changes in the health status of geriatric patients.’
    • ‘The rapidly expanding group of older nephrology patients is a positive reflection of recent developments in medical care and offers an opportunity to establish links between nephrology and geriatric medicine.’
    • ‘Several factors, such as the input of geriatricians and good communication between members of the multidisciplinary geriatric team, led to better use of medicines.’
    • ‘The 14 geriatric hospitals included 18 buildings that housed 36 nursing departments.’
    • ‘Max's main studies related to the organisation of primary health services and geriatric healthcare delivery in Israel and he was committed to medical education.’
    • ‘Health maintenance of geriatric patients is an integral part of daily medical practice for most family physicians.’
    • ‘Using an organized approach to the varied aspects of geriatric health, primary care physicians can improve the care that they provide for their older patients.’
    • ‘Indeed, many aspects of preventing and managing infection in nursing homes embrace good geriatric medicine.’
    • ‘We compared the quality of the current rehabilitation scheme in local hospitals with intensive rehabilitation in a geriatric hospital ward.’
    • ‘Before this he had started as a clinical assistant in the geriatric department at Paignton Hospital.’
    • ‘Governments cannot pay for all feasible geriatric health care.’
    • ‘Annual in-home geriatric assessment with quarterly visits by geriatric nurses also delays disability in persons without impairment.’
    • ‘He is attending physician in internal medicine and geriatric medicine at St. Luke's Hospital.’
    • ‘How can standards in geriatric health care be raised?’
    • ‘The nurses at the geriatric hospital kindly shared his care with the family.’
    • ‘Primary care physicians must be diligent in assessing the immunization status of geriatric patients and providing the recommended vaccines.’
    • ‘She completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in geriatric medicine at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.’
    1. 1.1informal Decrepit; very old or outdated.
      ‘replacements for a geriatric locomotive fleet’
      • ‘Like the Sea Kings, the Sikorsky Cyclones chosen on July 23 to replace Canada's geriatric fleet of Sea Kings rely on two engines.’
      tumbledown, dilapidated, derelict, ruinous, falling to pieces, decrepit, neglected, gone to rack and ruin, run down, crumbling, decaying, disintegrating, rickety, shaky, unsteady, broken down, unsound, unsafe
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  • An old person, especially one receiving special care.

    ‘a rest home for geriatrics’
    • ‘At 29, he isn't exactly young by modern standards of professional sport; on the other hand golf is not regarded as a sport for sprightly geriatrics for nothing.’
    • ‘Quinn rode his first winner in 1981 and at 42 - hardly a geriatric in the flat racing game - he retains a hunger for winners that would shame a man half his age.’
    • ‘The crowd was the usual mix of beautiful people in the corporate boxes and geriatrics and children in the cheap seats.’
    • ‘Her lustre is all the greater because, at 34, she counts almost as a geriatric and carries enough injuries to condemn a horse to the knacker's yard.’
    • ‘Most of the residents here are geriatrics with senile dementia.’
    • ‘If it were an episode of the TV show, we would be calling him ‘Monty Burns’, the wealthy geriatric who runs a nuclear power plant.’
    • ‘Even the geriatrics played well for the day getting 30 or more points.’
    • ‘The fuzz gun rattled in the absent grasp of his failing fingers like a collecting tin in the hands of an arthritic geriatric.’
    • ‘He joined the faculty as a young geriatric, his first position being upright.’
    • ‘By the standards of both Cook's crew and our modern-day colleagues, we were geriatrics.’
    • ‘I've still got a long time left in me and I can play until I'm a geriatric.’
    • ‘The rangers need not fear that they are signing a vulnerable geriatric.’
    • ‘Let the people vote in who they want to even if he is a senile geriatric with one foot already in the grave.’
    • ‘Stuffing myself with food and wine, I wondered how long I would last in this room full of geriatrics before I got bored and excused myself.’
    • ‘In both hospitals, the next most often targeted patient types were geriatrics, oncology, and renal patients.’
    • ‘But maybe the incessant weeping is legitimate; the way these whippersnappers treat their elders these days would bring any geriatric to tears.’
    • ‘I am rapidly turning into an TV-loving geriatric.’
    • ‘In fact, the brand of baseball produced by the pair of pre-season leagues is so dull that it impresses only the geriatrics in the stands.’
    • ‘Though I am no geriatric yet, I can confidently croon the song, ‘Those were the best days of my life!’’
    • ‘They have the opportunity to work with multiple age groups from neonates to geriatrics.’
    retired person, pensioner, old-age pensioner, oap
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Geriatric is the normal, semi-official term used in Britain and the US when referring to the health care of old people (a geriatric ward; geriatric patients). When used outside such contexts, it typically carries overtones of being worn out and decrepit and can therefore be offensive if used with reference to people


1920s: from Greek gēras ‘old age’ + iatros ‘doctor’, on the pattern of paediatric.