Various health problems can occur in old age because of bad habits that you do for years during your youth, for example a diet high in fat and calories. The "package" health complaint that typically appears in elderly people is called geriatric syndrome. What are the common health problems in old age, and how do you manage them to continue to be elderly healthy people? Check out the full review below.
Overview of info on geriatric syndrome in elderly people
Geriatric syndrome is a collection of symptoms or health problems that are often experienced by the elderly due to various decreases in bodily and psychological functions, socio-economic, and drastic changes in the surrounding environment.
The most common example is a decrease in appetite. In old age, appetite generally decreases. This loss of appetite can occur triggered by physical conditions due to the aging process, for example a decrease in the function of the sense of smell and taste that makes the elderly lazy to eat because the food feels tasteless. However, this can also be caused by psychological factors, such as staying alone or depressed because of being left behind by a loved one. These various factors can cause the elderly to lose appetite, and over time develop anorexia.
This syndrome cannot be taken lightly, because it can have more serious health effects such as organ dysfunction and increase the risk of death.
Various health problems that arise in old age
Geriatric syndrome is characterized by a number of health problems, ranging from cognitive function disorders, disorders to daily activities, and impaired mobility. There are six categories included in geriatric syndrome, including:
- Reduced mobility, which can be caused by lack of physical activity due to decreased physical function of the body and comorbidities. Reduced mobility often makes the elderly easier to fall.
- Fall and fracture . The elderly often experience falls to fractures due to balance disorders caused by visual disturbances, balance organ disorders, or motor sensors. This can increase triggering physical and psychosocial trauma in the elderly, such as loss of confidence, anxiety, depression, and fear of falling.
- Bedwetting (urinary incontinence) . Urinary incontinence is defined as the inability to hold urine out at the wrong and unwanted time. In the elderly, this can cause other health problems, such as dehydration because patients tend to reduce their drinking for fear of bedwetting, falls, and fractures due to slipping by urine.
- Dementia . Dementia includes decreased memory, deterioration of cognitive functions, changes in behavior, and other brain functions that interfere with daily activities. Dementia in the elderly can occur due to natural aging, Alzheimer's disease, recurrent strokes, head trauma, hormonal disorders, nutritional problems, and others.
- Delirium . Delirium is an acute confusion which is characterized by talking digress, restlessness, difficulty diverting attention, fear, and others. This is caused by metabolic disorders in the brain due to metabolic disorders, infections, head trauma, or side effects of drugs consumed.
- Isolation or withdrawal . Elderly people tend to withdraw from the surrounding environment, usually due to loneliness, depression, and /or reduced physical ability.
How to deal with geriatric syndrome
Handling various health problems in geriatric syndrome will depend on the cause of the problem, such as:
- Reduced mobility ( immobilization ) . Handling impaired mobility in the elderly can be done with physical therapy slowly using support tools to stand up. With this tool, the geriatric patient is helped to learn to stand up and walk slowly so that he can support his body and move slowly.
- Fall and fracture ( postural instability ) . Tell the doctor's team if your family member who has geriatric syndrome has fallen or slipped due to shaking. Handling given is usually in the form of exercise and physiotherapy which is useful to improve balance, how to walk, and prevent falls. Elderly people are also encouraged to routinely consume calcium and vitamin D to maintain bone strength. Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption which can reduce bone mass and increase fracture risk in the elderly.
- Bedwetting ( urinary incontinence ) . Elderly people will be encouraged to reduce consumption of caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, tea and soda, which can increase urine production. However, the exception to the consumption of water that remains must be taken regularly to prevent dehydration. Urinary incontinence can also be treated with medication, nerve stimulation, or surgery. However, consultation with the doctor is still needed for more appropriate treatment of each elderly person.
- Dementia . If you find family members who experience this, then both the patient and the family need to be counseled to monitor the patient's abilities and consider the use of assistive devices. Because family support is very beneficial for geriatric sufferers who have dementia.
- Delirium . Handling delirium in geriatric patients can utilize counseling between patients and families. This is useful to help patients reduce their level of confusion, for example by reminding the time and place of a particular event or increasing contact with the person involved in the event.
- Isolation or withdrawal . The right treatment for geriatric patients who isolate themselves is by offering social activities or group support. In this way, the elderly can play an active role in these activities so that their confidence in socializing can increase and avoid feeling lonely.
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