Thursday, March 27, 2014

Common geriatric problems

Aging is not easy and most people try to be as independent as possible for as long as they can. But age creeps up on you, nevertheless. These days, seniors look after themselves and try to lead a healthy lifestyle. So, they are able to remain active and healthy longer. But there are some problems that eventually arise. Some common geriatric problems that seniors face are:
1.      Loss of cognition due to diseases like alzheimer’s and dementia
2.      Depression
3.      Hearing problems
4.      Joint pain
5.      Visual impairment
Some of these problems can be treated with drugs and simple aids but for others there is no cure, and the elderly and their caregivers have to learn to understand, accept and learn to cope with these problems.

Loss of cognition

As people age, there is usually memory loss. Memory loss is a general term that may include some or all of the following:
·         Loss of concentration
·         Not being able to recognize people they know
·         Loss of reasoning
·         Forgetfulness
These symptoms could be because of the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Dementia is related to aging and affects a large percent of the elderly. Alzheimer’s is hereditary. Neither have a cure, but there has been a lot of research done on these geriatric problems, and there are many resources available on how to deal with it.


Many elderly people feel depressed. There are many reasons for this. They get frustrated when they need help doing simple things. Their memory loss causes them to be forgetful, and this can get quite annoying over time. If their partners have passed on, loneliness could cause depression. Having to depend on caregivers to take of their personal hygiene could be embarrassing. Most people lead an active life and having to compromise that may cause depression. There are several prescription drugs that can be given to help calm them.

Hearing problems

A lot of senior citizens refuse to get medical help when their hearing starts to fail. They feel that if they do, they are giving in to old age. But, with the help of hearing aids, people can hear well for a very long time. There are also surgical options to help with hearing problems.

Joint pains

This is inevitable with age. After a lifetime of use, the body tends to start wearing away. Most problems are related to the joints. Different types of arthritis can cause joint pain. There may come a time where the senior would have to consider a joint replacement surgery to continue being mobile. There are drugs and topical creams to help alleviate joint pains. Funnily, exercise can help relieve joint pains. But a senior should find a workout program that helps them. Yoga, senior pilates and stretches are good to help relieve joint pains.

Vision problems

Our eyes grow weaker as we age, so there will come a point where you would need glasses to help you read. Usually, the power of a person who wears glasses later in life does not increase much. It is just part of aging. But other problems like glaucoma, if not treated could make the vision so bad that a person could be almost blind. A person who has glaucoma sees the world as a blur of shapeless forms and figures. This can be helped with surgery.

Coping with geriatric problems

As a person grows older, they should have regular health checkups. There are geriatric doctors who specialize in treating the elderly. If you or someone you know is going through some kind of geriatric problem, consult a doctor. There will be help available for their problem.

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