Knowing Geriatric Syndrome in the Elderly and its Treatment

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Knowing Geriatric Syndrome in the Elderly and its Treatment
Knowing Geriatric Syndrome in the Elderly and its Treatment

Geriatric syndrome is a variety of symptoms of he alth problems that often occur in the elderly or the elderly due to the aging process. If not treated properly, this syndrome can cause the quality of life of the elderly to decline

Syndrome is a collection of symptoms that appear together and are usually caused by certain diseases or medical conditions. Meanwhile, geriatrics is a term for the elderly, namely people aged over 60 years.

Recognizing Geriatric Syndrome in the Elderly and Its Management - Alodokter

Geriatric syndrome is generally chronic and has no characteristic or specific symptoms. In addition, the elderly who experience geriatric syndrome will also usually experience a decrease in organ function due to the aging process.

This causes the elderly to be incapable or difficult to carry out daily activities, such as bathing or dressing, so they need to be helped by the people around them.

There are several factors that can cause an elderly person to experience geriatric syndrome, including genetic factors, physical and psychological conditions, environmental conditions, and social status.

Types of Geriatric Syndromes in the Elderly and their Treatment

The following are some types of he alth disorders in the elderly belonging to the geriatric syndrome:

1. Urinary and stool incontinence

Elderly with geriatric syndrome usually experience urinary incontinence. In addition, people with geriatric syndrome can also experience fecal incontinence or can't hold a bowel movement.

The elderly with urinary incontinence are advised to reduce their consumption of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, and to stop smoking. Urinary incontinence can generally be treated with medication, medical aids, Kegel exercises, or physiotherapy including electrical therapy on the nerves that regulate urinary function.

Meanwhile, the management of fecal incontinence in the elderly can include the administration of drugs, recommendations for special diet and exercise, physiotherapy, and surgery to repair the muscles around the anus.

The elderly who experience urinary or fecal incontinence also usually need to use adult diapers.

2. Sleep disturbance

Complaints of sleep disturbances that are often experienced by the elderly are difficulty falling asleep, not sleeping well and waking up easily, or often waking up during sleep and having difficulty falling back asleep. Elderly people who have sleep disorders also usually feel lethargic after getting up in the morning.

This condition can affect the quality of life and affect the he alth condition of the elderly. Sleep disorders can be treated by giving drugs from doctors and psychotherapy if they are caused by psychological disorders.

In addition, the elderly who have sleep disorders are advised to limit naps during the day, and not to exercise or consume caffeinated drinks in the afternoon.

3. Dementia

Dementia is a disease that causes a decrease in memory and thinking. This condition can make it difficult for the elderly to socialize and difficult to carry out daily activities properly. Dementia is also closely related to other mental disorders, such as depression.

Elderly with dementia need to get comprehensive treatment, such as giving medication to relieve symptoms of dementia, such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, memantine, antipsychotics, and antidepressants.

Elderly who have dementia also need to undergo a balanced nutritious diet. To relieve symptoms of dementia, your doctor may prescribe supplements of vitamin E, folic acid, and omega-3s, to support brain function.

In addition to medication, dementia also needs to be treated with psychotherapy, occupational therapy, and cognitive stimulation therapy or brain exercise.

4. Delirium

Delirium is a medical emergency in which severe confusion occurs suddenly. When experiencing delirium, the elderly will also feel restless and anxious.

The elderly with geriatric syndrome who experience delirium need to be monitored directly in the hospital. This is important so that they do not injure themselves or others and doctors can directly provide treatment to treat delirium conditions.

5. Loss of balance and falls

As we get older, our physical strength gets weaker.This can make it difficult for the elderly to maintain body position and balance. In addition, the elderly also often experience a decrease in the quality of vision. This can make it easy for the elderly with geriatric syndrome to fall and get injured or injured.

The risk of injury to the elderly can also increase if they walk on uneven roads or when street lighting is inadequate. Injuries from falls can even cause the elderly to fracture.

The treatment for the elderly with geriatric syndrome who often falls is to ensure that the living or home environment for the elderly is safe and has good facilities so as not to potentially cause injury.

6. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is characterized by bone loss that is common in the elderly, especially elderly women. This condition occurs when the body's ability to repair and strengthen bone tissue decreases due to aging.

Therefore, the elderly need to undergo regular he alth checks, including bone examinations. Osteoporosis in the elderly can be overcome by increasing the intake of calcium and vitamin D, as well as treatment from a doctor.

Physical activities such as strength training, elderly exercise, and osteoporosis exercise are also important for maintaining bone he alth. Families or people who care for elderly people with osteoporosis also need to take care and monitor when the elderly are active to minimize the risk of falling or getting injured.

7. Other conditions

In addition to the five conditions above, there are several other conditions that fall into the category of geriatric syndrome, namely:

  • hearing loss
  • Visibility problems, such as cataracts or macular degeneration
  • Sexual disorders, such as impotence and vaginal dryness
  • Weakened immune system
  • Malnutrition and eating disorders
  • Hard or unable to move
  • Organic function disorders, such as kidney and liver

Due to their weakened body condition due to aging or co-morbidities, the elderly are susceptible to geriatric syndrome, which consists of the various he alth problems above. Geriatric syndrome in the elderly needs to be examined and treated by a geriatric doctor.

Therefore, if you have family members or relatives who are elderly and experience signs and symptoms of geriatric syndrome, you should invite them to consult a doctor so that proper examination and treatment can be carried out.

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