Aging

Chronic diseases, like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, impact the mental health of older adults. Depression or anxiety disorders are commonly experienced by the geriatric population. The following pages provide educational information about normal aging and disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Readers will learn about symptoms, treatments and how to cope with the aging process.

Aging and Alcohol Abuse
Drinking problems in older people are often neglected by families, doctors, and the public. Learn more...

Alzheimer’s Disease: Caregiver Guide
Caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease (AD) at home is a difficult task and can become overwhelming at times. Each day brings new challenges as the caregiver copes with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behavior. Research has shown that caregivers themselves often are at increased risk for depression and illness, especially if they do not receive adequate support from family, friends, and the community. Learn more...

Alzheimer’s Disease FAQs
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia. This page answers questions about two major types of Alzheimer's disease, Early Alzheimer's and Late Alzheimer's. Learn more...

 Answers to Common Questions about Counseling
Throughout life, there are times when help is needed to address problems and issues that cause emotional distress or make us feel overwhelmed. When experiencing these types of difficulties, individuals may benefit from the assistance of an experienced, trained professional. Learn more....

Bone Health
Both men and women lose bone as they grow older. But women need to give bone health their full attention because they have smaller bones than men and they lose bone faster than men. Over time bone loss can lead to osteoporosis, which makes your bones weak and more likely to break. Learn more...

Caregiver Stress
As the U.S. population ages, more people are faced with the responsibility of caring for elderly loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, or other health problems. Many parents are also raising children with severe disabilities at home. More often today, these caregivers are continuing to care for children with disabilities well into their adulthood. Learn more...

Caregiving
As the population of older citizens grows dramatically — by the year 2030 there will be 5.3 million aging baby boomers that need long-term care — many caregivers put their own lives on hold to meet the needs of ill loved ones. Learn more...

Diagnosis of Depression in Parkinson’s Disease
Almost half of all patients with Parkinson’s Disease will experience depression at some point in their illness. Depression is an illness characterized by sad mood and/or diminished ability to enjoy things and is accompanied by other symptoms such as changes in appetite, problems sleeping or excessive sleepiness, decreased energy level, slowed movements and poor concentration. Learn more...

Does Physical Activity Have Positive Effects on the Mind?
It was once thought that cognitive decline was a normal part of aging. But research now suggests that staying physically active as you get older may slow cognitive decline. Learn more...

Early Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. It proceeds in stages over months or years and gradually destroys memory, reason, judgment, language, and eventually the ability to carry out even simple tasks. Learn more...

End-of-Life Care: Questions and Answers
The end of life is different for each person. Each individual has unique needs for information and support. The patient's and family's questions and concerns about the end of life should be discussed with the health care team as they arise. Hospice care often provides such services. Learn more....

Forgetfulness: It’s Not Always What You Think
Many older people worry about becoming more forgetful. They think forgetfulness is the first sign of Alzheimer's disease. In the past, memory loss and confusion were considered a normal part of aging. However, scientists now know that most people remain both alert and able as they age, although it may take them longer to remember things. Learn more...

Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Disease Management
Alzheimer’s Disease gets worse over time, it is incurable, and it is fatal. Today it is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and the fifth leading cause for individuals 65 and older. Learn more...

Hospice
Hospice workers concentrate on providing pain medication and relief for nausea and other symptoms, all the while working to help the patient deal with the impact their dying will have on their loved ones. Learn more...

Looking Out For Depression in Older Adults
Depression is an illness that affects many older people. It generally affects their physical as well as their mental well-being. Fortunately, it is a highly treatable illness. Complete, or at least partial improvement, can be obtained in eighty to ninety percent of cases. Learn more...

Managing Chronic Pain
Experts say the first step in treating chronic pain is to identify the source of the pain. Common types of chronic pain include back pain, headaches, arthritis, cancer pain, and neuropathic pain, which results from injury to nerves. Many people with chronic pain try to tough it out, according to research from the American Academy of Pain Medicine. But persistent pain should never be ignored because it could signal disease or injury that will worsen if left untreated. Learn more...

Medication Use and Older Adults
Researchers found that when older adults were asked to bring in the brown paper bag containing their medicines, the list of medications in the bag was more complete than their official pharmacy records. Learn more...

Pain Control: A Guide for People with Cancer and Their Families
Having cancer does not always mean having pain. For those with pain, there are many different kinds of medicines, ways to receive the medicine, and non-medicine methods that can relieve the pain. Learn more...

Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson's disease belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders. The four primary symptoms of Parkinson’s are tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and impaired balance and coordination. Learn more...

Planning for Long Term Care
Although most older people are independent, some need help with everyday activities. For many people, regular or "long-term" care may mean a little help from family and friends or regular visits by a home health aide. For others who are frail or suffering from dementia, long-term care may involve moving to a place where professional care is available 24 hours a day. Learn more...

Questions and Answers About Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases
Arthritis means joint inflammation. Although joint inflammation describes a symptom or sign rather than a specific diagnosis, the term “arthritis” is often used to refer to any disorder that affects the joints. These disorders fall within the broader category of rheumatic diseases. Learn more...

Use and Misuse of Alcohol Among Older Women
Community surveys have estimated the prevalence of problem drinking among older adults to range from 1 percent to 15 percent. Among older women, the prevalence of alcohol misuse ranged from less than 1 percent to 8 percent in these studies. Early detection efforts by health care providers can help limit the prevalence of alcohol problems and improve overall health in older adults. Learn more...

Working with Older Patients: Talking About Sensitive Subjects
Many older people have a "don't ask/don't tell" relationship with doctors about health care problems, especially about sensitive subjects, such as urinary incontinence or sexuality. Hidden health problems, ranging from foot disorders to mental illness, are a challenge. Addressing problems related to safety and independence, such as giving up one's driver's license or moving to assisted living, can be difficult. Learn more...

You’re Never Too Old To Live Healthy
Adopting healthy behaviors - even later in life - can help prevent, delay, and control disease. In fact, research has shown that a healthy lifestyle matters more than genes in helping to avoid poor health as individuals age. Learn more...