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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 maintaining he...

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.

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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.

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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.

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Latest News
Lifestyle Changes Might Prevent or Slow Dementia
Comprehensive Audiologic Care Feasible in Free Clinic Model
Alzheimer's Deaths Jump 55 Percent: CDC
Sleep Apnea Reporting Low Among Individuals Aged ≥65
Chances of Successful CPR Dwindle as Seniors Age
Loving, Supportive Kids May Help Lower Seniors' Dementia Risk
Seniors Often Have Trouble Managing Money, Medicines
Drug Tied to Dementia Risk Overprescribed to Seniors: Study
Dizzy Spells in Middle-Age Tied to Dementia Risk Later
Finally, Proof That Hearing Aids Help
Is Need for More Sleep a Sign of Pending Dementia?
Unhealthy in Middle Age, Dementia in Old Age?
Busy Minds May Be Better at Fighting Dementia
Could Obesity Undermine Memory Training in Older Adults?
Does Living Near Major Roads Boost Dementia Risk?
Iron Deficiency Anemia Ups Risk of Hearing Loss in U.S. Adults
Chair Yoga Helps Older Adults Manage Osteoarthritis Pain
Fewer Americans Under 70 Have Hearing Loss, Study Finds
Test Predicting Alzheimer's Would Be Welcome, Survey Finds
Having Trouble Hearing? Maybe It's Not Your Ears
Some Elderly With Alzheimer's Brain Plaques Stay Sharp
Could Loneliness Be an Early Sign of Alzheimer's?
Even a Little Exercise May Help Stave Off Dementia
Family Trumps Friends in Extending Seniors' Lives
Healthy Diet, Exercise May Help Keep Alzheimer's at Bay
Addiction Risk Low for Seniors Taking Post-Op Opioids: Study
Underweight Seniors May Have Added Alzheimer's Risk
Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. Seniors Has Some Form of Disability
Home-Based Care Teams Offer Help for Those With Dementia
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