Navigation Link
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.

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.

For more information

Latest News
CAPABLE Program Saves Money for Seniors With Disability
As Hearing Fades With Age, Dementia Risk May Rise
Flu Can Have Dangerous Domino Effect on Older Adults
Most Older Adults Willing to Play Game to Monitor Vision
Leaving the House Tied to Lower Mortality Risk in Seniors
Doctors Increasingly Becoming 'Nursing Home Specialists'
Many Seniors Have Not Discussed Avoiding Drug Interactions
Small Changes Could Keep Seniors Driving Longer
Does Marriage Help Preserve Your Brain?
Steroid Injections for Arthritic Hips: More Trouble Than They're Worth?
What You Don't Know About Drug Interactions Could Hurt You
Don't Delay Hip Fracture Surgery. Here's Why
Health Tip: Seniors at Heightened Risk of Foodborne Illness
For Seniors, Any Physical Activity Is Better Than None
1 in 4 U.S. Seniors With Cancer Has Had It Before
An Exercise Game Plan for Boomers
Health Tip: Help Prevent Osteoporosis
Could New 'Brain Training' Program Help Prevent Dementia?
'Boomers' Doing Better at Avoiding Eye Disease of Aging
U.S. Seniors Struggle More to Pay for Health Care Compared to Other Countries
Staying Active May Lower Odds for Glaucoma
Health Tip: Hearing Loss May Affect Brain Health
AAO: Higher Exercise Intensity Tied to Reduced Risk of Glaucoma
Middle-Aged and Impaired? More Common Than You Might Think
Smog May Harm Your Bones, Too
Your Friends May Be Key to a Healthy Aging Brain
USPSTF Posts Osteoporosis Screening Recommendations
Exercise, Intervention Combos Associated With Lower Fall Risk
Older Women Can 'Walk Away From the Grim Reaper'
Eat Well, Age Well
New Finding Hints at Clue to Dementia
What Exercise Regimen Is Best for Healthy Weight Loss in Seniors?
Dry Mouth Common Medication Reaction in Older Adults
Health Tip: Eating Healthier as You Age
Bone Strength + Bone Mineral Density Screening Cost-Effective
Panel Recommends New Zoster Vaccine as First-Line Treatment
There's a New Shingles Vaccine -- Is It for You?
Secondary Prevention Meds Often Not Started Post-AMI in Seniors
Ditch the Throw Rugs, Seniors!
Health Tip: Finding Safe Shoes for the Elderly
Health Tip: 5 Suggestions to Promote Healthy Aging
Mental Health Issues Impact Retirement Saving Behavior
Good Lifestyle Choices Add Years to Your Life
Dance Your Way to a Healthier Aging Brain
3MR Intervention Effective for Discontinuing Inappropriate Meds
Health Tip: Tai Chi May Help Prevent Falls
Today's Middle-Age Americans in Worse Health Than Prior Generations
Older People May Be More Prone to Reveal Suicidal Thoughts
Risk Assessments Can Help Prevent Falls
Failing Sense of Smell Tied to Dementia Risk
Questions and Answers
Book Reviews
Self-Help Groups
Basic InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Lifespan Development