Aging & Geriatrics
Basic Information

Aging & Geriatrics

Great improvements in medicine, public health, science, and technology have enabled today's older Americans to live longer and healthier lives than previous generations. Older adults want to remain healthy and independent at home in their communities. Society wants to minimize the health care and economic costs associated with an increasing older population. The science of aging indicates that chronic disease and disability are not inevitable. As a result, health promotion and disease prevention activities and programs are an increasing priority for older adults, their families, and the health care system.

Many people fail to make the connection between undertaking healthy behaviors today and the impact of these choices later in life. Studies indicate that healthy eating, physical activity, mental stimulation, not smoking, active social engagement, moderate use of alcohol, maintaining a safe environment, social support, and regular health care are important in maintainin...

Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!

What healthy choices should those who are aging make?

  • Choosing a doctor is one of the most important decisions anyone can make. The best time to make that decision is while you are still healthy and have time to really think about all your choices.
  • Studies show that endurance activities help prevent or delay many diseases that seem to come with age. In some cases, endurance activity can also improve chronic diseases or their symptoms.
  • You can improve your health if you move more and eat better!
  • As you grow older, you may need less energy from what you eat, but you still need just as many of the nutrients in food.
  • The Federal Government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly encourage older adults to be immunized against flu, pneumococcal disease, tetanus and diphtheria, and chickenpox, as well as measles, mumps, and rubella.
  • Sunlight is a major cause of the skin changes we think of as aging — changes such as wrinkles, dryness, and age spots.

For more information

What medical issues can those who are aging face?

  • Age can bring changes that affect your eyesight.
  • About one-third of Americans older than age 60 and about half the people who are 85 and older have hearing loss. Whether a hearing loss is small (missing certain sounds) or large (being profoundly deaf), it is a serious concern.
  • Menopause is the time around the age of 51 when your body makes much less of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone and you stop having periods, which can cause troublesome symptoms for some women.
  • The risk of osteoporosis grows as you get older. Ten million Americans have osteoporosis, and 8 million of them are women.
  • Prostate problems are common in men age 50 and older. There are many different kinds of prostate problems and treatments vary but prostate problems can often be treated without affecting sexual function.
  • Loss of bladder control is called urinary incontinence and at least 1 in 10 people age 65 or older has this problem.
  • In order to meet the criteria for an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis, a person's cognitive deficits must cause significant impairment in occupational and/or social functioning.

For more information

What mental health issues can those who are aging face?

  • Because the aging process affects how the body handles alcohol, the same amount of alcohol can have a greater effect as a person grows older. Over time, someone whose drinking habits haven’t changed may find she or he has a problem.
  • There are many reasons why depression in older people is often missed or untreated. The good news is that people who are depressed often feel better with the right treatment.
  • Each year hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, neglected and exploited by family members and others.

For more information

Latest News
Exercise Can Reduce Heart Failure Risk at Any Age
Motorized Wheelchair Users at Raised Risk for Traffic Deaths: Study
Failing Sense of Smell Might Be Alzheimer's Warning
Intervention Cuts Potentially Inappropriate Meds in Seniors
Parkinson's Drug Shows Promise Against Macular Degeneration
Physical Fitness Linked to Mental Fitness in Seniors
Strong Legs Linked to Strong Mind
Too Many Seniors With Diabetes Are Overtreated, Study Suggests
Feeling Extra Forgetful May Signal Dementia Ahead
Mediterranean Diet May Keep Your Mind Healthier in Old Age
Midlife Cardiovascular Fitness Tied to Lower Health Costs Later
Many Seniors Given Antipsychotic Meds, Despite Potential Problems
Men's, Women's Hearts Age Differently
Majority of Older Adults Want Active Role in Decision Making
Carrots Do Help Aging Eyes, Study Shows
USPSTF Recommends CRC Screening for 50- to 75-Year-Olds
Concussion Recovery May Be Delayed in Older Adults
Added Calcium May Not Help Older Bones: Studies
Health Tip: Visiting the Dentist
Older Adults' Hearing Loss May Be Tied to Earlier Death
Retirement Might Not Agree With Your Health
Exercise May Help Keep an Aging Mind Agile
Tai Chi Improves BP Control, Quality of Life in Older Adults
Hip-Fracture Surgery Risk Not Just Due to Age, Study Finds
Low Vitamin D Status Linked to Accelerated Cognitive Decline
People in Their 50s Benefit Most From Low-Dose Aspirin, Report Says
Other People's Flu Vaccines Help Shield Seniors, Too: Study
Herpes Zoster Vaccine Not Cost-Effective in Adults Aged 50 Years
Seniors Getting Smarter, Research Shows
Early Treatment With Flu Antivirals May Shorten Seniors' Hospital Stay
Resting Heart Rate, HR Variability May Help ID Functional Disability
Too Much Weight in Midlife Tied to Earlier Alzheimer's
Seniors Often Underestimate Their Frailty, Study Finds
Two Measures of Heart Health May Hint at Seniors' Independence
Seniors More Likely to Wind Up in Hospital After Outpatient Surgery: Study
Exercise, Supplements Like Fish Oil Won't Keep Elderly Sharper: Studies
Sharp Spike Seen in Statin Use in Elderly Without Heart Disease
No Mental Benefits Seen for Elderly Who Stop Blood Pressure Meds
Nine Modifiable Factors May Be Key in Reducing Alzheimer's Risk
Fewer Seniors Fall While Taking Vitamin D: Study
Why the Aging Brain Is More Vulnerable to Alzheimer's
AM, PM Cortisol Tied to Brain, Cognitive Variances in Later Life
'Low T' Therapy Has Yet to Be Proven: FDA
Advance Care Planning Cuts Burden of Decision Making
CDC Determines Prevalence of Osteoporosis in Older Adults
1 in 4 Senior Women in U.S. Has Osteoporosis: CDC
Reduced Executive Function May Mean Higher CVD Risk
Phone-Delivered CBT Beneficial for Seniors With Anxiety
Poor Thinking Skills in Seniors Linked to Heart Attack, Stroke Risks
Many Older Americans Feel Prepared for Aging
Questions and Answers
Book Reviews
Self-Help Groups
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Depression: Major Depression & Unipolar Varieties
Elder Care
Lifespan Development