Americans are living longer and healthier lives. Even so, many older adults develop geriatric syndromes, which are problems that usually have more than one cause and involve many parts of the body. There are many treatments available for these conditions that can help maintain independence and quality of life. For more information on the individual conditions visit HealthinAging.org. Some conditions are:
Bladder control problems
Lack of bladder control, or urinary incontinence, can lead to problems such as falls, depression and isolation. In most cases, incontinence can be cured or greatly improved with treatment. Sleep Problems
Sleep problems can affect quality of life and can contribute to falls, injuries and other health problems.Delirium
Many older adults who go to the emergency room or are admitted to the hospital develop delirium, a state of sudden confusion and a medical emergency, similar to chest pain. See HealthinAging.org for signs.
Dementia, is a memory problem significant enough to affect a person’s ability to carry out usual tasks. While the most common cause is Alzheimer’s Disease, there are many other types.
Falls are a leading cause of serious injury in older people. There are many risk factors for falling, including safety hazards in the home, medication side effects, walking and vision problems, dizziness, arthritis, weakness and malnutrition. Like other geriatric syndromes, falls usually have more than one cause.
Osteoporosis, or “thinning bones,” is a condition that makes the bones of older adults more fragile and easy to break.
Women 65 and older and men over age 70, should get a bone mass density (BMD) test. Increased calcium and vitamin D intake, strength training exercises, keep bones healthy.
Weight loss can be caused by the diminished sense of taste that comes with aging, or it can be a suggestion of an underlying serious medical problem. No matter the cause, weight loss can lead to other problems, such as weakness, falls, and bone disorders.