Common Geriatric Problems

Let me tell you something encouraging: People are living longer than ever before. The downside? A longer life comes with a price. Geriatric syndromes, which are defined as “common clinical diseases that don’t fall into specific illness categories but have considerable implications for functionality and life satisfaction in older persons,” are more common in seniors.

All of these factors have an impact on a senior’s capacity to interact socially, engage in physical activity, and take care of themselves. As a result, addressing these issues is critical to enable better aging.

Unfortunately, these problems are frequently overlooked by standard medical care. Many people suffer from these issues for years without anyone taking action.

This could be because many individuals, including doctors, seniors, and family members, believe there is nothing that can be done about them and that they are simply “part of becoming older.”

Fortunately, there are a number of strategies to improve the quality of life of someone with a geriatric condition. Here is a closer look at some of the most prevalent geriatric syndromes,  along with management tips.

1. Issues with bladder control.

According to experts, incontinence affects more than half of all older persons. While incontinence does grow with age, experts are quick to stress out that it is not an unavoidable component of the aging process. Medical therapies and/or surgery are among the options that can be used to address this condition.

What is the takeaway for caregivers? There is a good chance that an intervention exists that could assist your aging loved one with managing their incontinence.  Incontinence comes in a variety of “types,” each with its own set of causes. The key to effective treatment is correctly recognizing the type and causes. Finding the right pads to deal with leaks can make a great difference. Keep in mind that anticholinergic drugs used to treat bladder spasms can impair cognitive function. It’s a good idea to keep track of your symptoms in a voiding diary for three days before your consultation to help your doctor assess your incontinence.

2. Problems with sleep.

Approximately half of seniors say they have trouble sleeping. While this may appear to be a simple issue, scientists have connected inadequate sleep to an increased risk of mortality.

Caregivers who sense tiredness or sleeplessness in their elderly loved ones should consult their doctor to determine the cause and initiate treatment.

3. Delirium

Approximately half of seniors say they have trouble sleeping. While this may appear to be a simple issue, scientists have connected inadequate sleep to an increased risk of mortality.

Caregivers who sense tiredness or sleeplessness in their elderly loved ones should consult their doctor to determine the cause and initiate treatment.


4. Concerns about memory:

 For older persons and their families, memory worries are common sources of anxiety. They may or may not indicate significant declines in thinking abilities. The evaluation aids in determining whether or not a person is cognitively impaired and to what extent. Even more crucially, the examination can reveal curable causes of diminished brain function, such as pharmaceutical side effects, thyroid issues, and a range of other issues that are common in senior citizens.


Many people are hesitant to have their memory problems analyzed because they are concerned that they may have Alzheimer’s disease or another kind of dementia. While most varieties of dementia have no cure, there are a number of therapies that can help with symptoms and behavior issues, such as medication, occupational therapy, changing the environment, and modifying tasks.


While many individuals believe that a dementia diagnosis spells the end of life as they know it, there are numerous advantages to receiving a diagnosis early on, including access to medications that can slow the disease’s course, guidance, and support, and time to plan for the future. .

5. Falls

Falls are a primary cause of injury and death in seniors. However, falls can be avoided by addressing risk factors such as tripping hazards in the home, pharmaceutical side effects, eyesight loss, mobility issues, dizziness, arthritis, malnutrition, and frailty.


Consult with his healthcare practitioner if you are caring for someone who has fallen or are concerned that he is in danger of falling. A doctor can recommend fall prevention measures, such as physical therapy and exercise, in addition to diagnosing the reasons of falls.

6. Depression

Despite the fact that healthy older persons have lower rates of depression than the overall population, depression remains a widespread condition that is often overlooked. It’s more common in those who are sick, caregiving, or socially isolated. It’s critical to recognise and treat depression since it leads to a higher quality of life and more social engagement. It can also help elderly people better manage their health issues, such as chronic diseases or discomfort.


An major indication of depression in seniors is “anhedonia,” which refers to the inability to enjoy formerly pleasurable activities. It’s critical to seek help if you observe this in an elderly person – or yourself. Studies demonstrate that medicine and psychotherapy are both beneficial in treating mild to severe depression, although non-drug treatment is rarely offered unless you specifically request it. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline and escitalopram, have less side effects and drug interactions than other drugs. Paroxetine (Paxil) is anticholinergic, which means it slows down brain activity.

7. Pain

Surveys suggest that about 50% of all adults aged 65+ experience bothersome pain every month, often in multiple parts of the body. Persisting pain is linked with decreased social and physical activity, depression, and taking worse care of one’s own health.  Pain can also be a sign of a new health problem that needs attention or a chronic problem that’s being inadequately managed.

Pain can and should be managed by non-drug approaches whenever possible. Studies have found that pain can often be lessened through certain types of psychotherapy, exercises or physical therapy, and many other approaches. Treatment with medication may still be necessary, especially for short-term purposes or in combination with other approaches. Bear in mind that many over-the-counter pain medications (such as Advil and Motrin) are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are risky for older adults when used chronically or in high doses.

8. Isolation and loneliness

Physical health has been linked to both isolation (not having a lot of social contact with others) and loneliness (the experience of being disconnected from others). According to a 2012 study, 43% of older persons reported feeling lonely, and they were more likely to lose physical abilities or die during the next 6 years. Loneliness and isolation have also been related to a worse immune system and a higher risk of depression.

Seniors who live alone or have just lost a loved one are especially vulnerable, especially if health issues prevent them from getting out and about. Even those who are in close proximity to others, such as family caregivers or seniors in a facility, might experience loneliness.

Certain psychotherapies, such as mindfulness, have been shown in studies to help reduce feelings of loneliness and even inflammation in the body. However, another study indicated that social isolation is a higher risk factor for early death than loneliness, implying that social isolation must be addressed as well. More social contact is usually beneficial. Any health concerns (such as fear of falling, incontinence, or pain) that may be preventing a senior from getting out and about must also be addressed.

9. Polypharmacy (Taking Multiple Medications)

Taking many drugs is referred to as polypharmacy. It’s a problem because as individuals get older, they’re more likely to be harmed by prescription side effects or interactions. 

Polypharmacy also causes problems for elderly people since buying all of those pills can be expensive, and having to take medications many times a day can be inconvenient. Last but not least, it is more difficult for people to take their drugs appropriately when they have been prescribed multiple medications. This might lead to a chronic disease worsening or even misdirected medical care, as doctors may fail to notice that a patient hasn’t been able to take all of his or her medications as prescribed.

The most important thing to remember is that many elderly people are taking medications they don’t require. 

Inappropriate pharmaceutical prescribing is prevalent, according to research. A thorough medication review will often reveal medications that are either mildly useful or no longer required, but you may not receive one unless you specifically request one.

Galaxy Multispeciality Hospital boasts a number of departments with advanced infrastructure and experienced healthcare professionals.

Our state-of-the-art clinical laboratories can assist in discovering a wide range of illnesses with the use of modern diagnostics and technology.

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