Mrs Chandrika Vedalankar

Tel. 0312604537


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The Department of Geriatrics was established in 2000 in recognition of the need for undergraduate and postgraduate training in the care of the elderly. It was founded through the generosity of the Aaron Beare Foundation and is one of only 4 such departments/units in the country. 

In keeping with world-wide trends the number of older persons in South Africa is increasing and is projected to reach approximately 8 million by 2050. Yet training and research in this area has largely been neglected. The aims of the department are to provide training for undergraduate and postgraduate medical students and other allied health care workers, provide a centre of excellence for the assessment and management of the older person with multi-system disease, undertake research in the area of ageing and perform an advocacy role for the older person.

Our clinical service is based at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital and consists of inpatient beds for the acute care of the older person with multisystem disease, a weekly outpatient clinic and monthly “Memory” and Movement Disorder Clinics.  The Memory Clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic run by the neurologists with additional input from psychiatry, psychology and social work departments. 

A primary goal of the Department is to support and develop district and regional services for the care of the elderly with clear referral pathways between the different levels of the provincial health service, vertically and horizontally and to provide educational opportunities in Geriatric Medicine for all health care workers.  The Department is actively involved in the Geriatric Medicine Course held annually and trains candidates for the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine.

The department has one consultant, one senior medical officer and two registrars rotating from the general medical pool.


Clinical Activities 

The Department serves as a tertiary referral centre for older patients requiring tertiary care in KwaZulu-Natal and this includes an out-patients clinic and in-patients facilities. The department works in close liaison with general medicine and other specialty departments within internal medicine and allied health professionals especially physiotherapists and occupational therapists. The unit runs an out-patient clinic weekly on Wednesdays at IALCH. On the first Thursday of each month there is a Memory Clinic and the Movement clinic is held on the third Thursday of the month in the Neurology Department. A “Grand round” and Topic Discussion is held every Friday morning.

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