Principal Geriatric Syndromes

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Geriatric syndromes are a group of symptoms or problems that are logically connected, associated with old age, have a multifactorial etiology and course of chronic, poorly treated. Often it is a vicious circle. They lead to a decline in the human independence.

Hypomobility Syndrome, Decondition and Muscular Weakness[edit | edit source]

The inability or decreased ability to move can be based on:

  • neurological cause - ictus,
  • psychological cause - depression, anxiety, fear of falling,
  • somatic cause - shortness of breath, fatigue, pain, claudication,
  • influence of the environment - unsuitable housing (on the first floor without elevator), bad shoes.

Movement reduction leads to a reduction of skeletal muscle (atrophy), which in turn worsens the ability of individual mobility. Muscle weakness is more rapid. In case of total loss of mobility is a risk of pressure sores, ulcers, urinary incontinence ... The effect of requiring social assistance. From cleaning and shopping to personal care and feeding in the most difficult cases.

Instability Syndrome and Falls[edit | edit source]

Instability is based on the inability of correct body position in space and movement. The result (as well as instability hypomobility) is fall. Falls are a cause of other diseases (fractures, impairment of consciousness, bleeding in the CNS).

These problems are often based on:

  • impaired vision
  • vestibular system disorders
  • muscular proprioception disorders
  • drug influence (hypotension)

Orthostatic hypotension is more frequent in old age. Fear of falling leads tohypomobility (vicious circle). The falls happen most often at home, 1/3 otherwise healthy people over age 65 fall at home at least once per a year.

Anorexia and Malnutrition Syndrome[edit | edit source]

Eating disorder is based on:

  • psychiatric disorder (dementia, depression);
  • poverty (only one-sided diet).

Poor nutrition affects the overall condition of man. Malnutrition leads to worsening of the disease, impaired wound healing, slow healing (prolongation of hospitalization), increasing the number of complications and mortality and morbidity. Malnutrition supports creation of muscle atrophy. On the other hand, if we want to improve an individual's lean body mass, it is appropriate to focus on dietary protein intake. Basic income for an adult - 0.8 g/kg/day in age should rise to at least 1.3 g/kg/day in order to protect muscle mass of body.

Dehydration[edit | edit source]

Dehydration is common in the elderly because older people do not feel thirsty physiologically. It may also be caused by psychological factors - depression or dementia. Dehydration is a frequent cause of decompensation of chronic disease and subsequent hospitalization.

Incontinence Syndrome[edit | edit source]

Because of its frequency, incontinence is not only a medical problem but also a socio-economic (for the high expenditure on incontinence aids) one. It occurs in up to 30% of people over the age of 65. As a result, it leads to the loss of a social life (rather stay at home), and other complications of hypomobility.

Other Syndromes[edit | edit source]

  • Cognitive deficit syndrome, impaired memory and behavioral disorders.
  • Combined sensory deficit syndrome - it is mainly a failure of vision and hearing. In the case of sight contributes to impaired orientation in space of instability and increased risk of falls and other accidents. The deterioration of hearing (without treatment) can cause social isolation.
  • Maladaptation syndrome - poor adaptation to changing environments.
  • abuse syndrome, neglect and abuse of old people.
  • Geriatric syndrome of terminal deterioration.

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