Around 1900, about 4% of the population were> 65 years old in the United States. Today, there are> 14% (50 million, with a net increase of 10,000 / day). In 2026, when the baby boomers will reach the age of 80 years after the Second World War, (almost 80 million) will be> 65 years old> 20% is estimated. The average age of the ’65s is currently just over 75 years, and for the proportion of> 85 years for continued fast growth is forecast. (N. D. Talk .: In general, a demographic shift is taking place in all industrialized countries, which is characterized by a disproportionate increase in older populations with a simultaneous decline in birth rate.)
Geriatrics deals with the medical care of the elderly, an age group that can be described only with difficulty accurately. (N. D. Talk .: The Geriatrics includes the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of physical and mental disorders in biologically advanced age with the aim of preserving and restoring the greatest possible independence.) The term “older people” is sometimes preferred, but equally inaccurate; often the indication of age> 65 years is used, but most people need for their care no expertise in geriatrics up to the age of 70 or 75. In gerontology, the study of aging is understood with reference to biological, sociological and psychological changes. Around 1900, about 4% of the population were> 65 years old in the United States. Today, there are> 14% (50 million, with a net increase of 10,000 / day). In 2026, when the baby boomers will reach the age of 80 years after the Second World War, (almost 80 million) will be> 65 years old> 20% is estimated. The average age of the ’65s is currently just over 75 years, and for the proportion of> 85 years for continued fast growth is forecast. (N. D. Talk .: In general, a demographic change will in all industrial countries instead, which is characterized by a disproportionate increase in older populations with a simultaneous decline in births.) The life expectancy for men is 65-year-olds also 17 years or 10 years at 75 olds; in women is 20 years, and at 75 years of age 13 years with 65-year-olds. Overall, women live about 5 years longer than men, probably due to genetic and biological and environment-related factors. These differences in life have changed, despite the changes in lifestyle of women (z. B. increased smoking, increased stress) than the late 20th century slightly. Aging aging (d. H. Real aging) refers to the unavoidable and irreversible loss of organ function, even in the absence of injury, disease, environmental risks or bad lifestyle (eg. As poor diet, lack of exercise, substance abuse) occurs over time. Initially, the changes do not affect in organ function (Selected age-related physiological changes) the initial state; the first manifest themselves in a reduced ability of the organs to maintain the homeostasis under load (z. B. disease, injury). The cardiovascular system, the renal system and the central nervous system are usually the most vulnerable (the “weakest” organ systems). Diseases interact with pure aging effects and cause geriatric-specific complications (which are now considered to be geriatric symptoms), mainly in the most vulnerable organ systems, even even if these organs are not those that are primarily affected by a disease. Typical examples include delirium as a complication of pneumonia or urinary tract infections and falls, dizziness, fainting, urinary incontinence and weight loss that often accompany many slight illness in the elderly. Aging organs are also more prone to injury; z. B. takes a cerebral hemorrhage frequently, and it is triggered in the elderly less clinically important injuries. The consequences of aging must be considered in the diagnosis and treatment of elderly patients. Doctors should not the real aging with a disease confused (z. B. is a slow information recording no dementia) a disease with the pure aging confused (z. B. severe arthritis, tremor or dementia attributed to the advanced age) the increased risk of forget ignore adverse drug reactions or on vulnerable organ systems that are affected by the disease that older people often have several comorbidities (eg. as hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis) have that can increase the risk of damage in addition, clinicians should pay attention to disease and problems , the much more common in the elderly (eg. as diastolic heart failure, Alzheimer’s disease, incontinence, normal pressure) occur. This approach allows to better understand the complexity of the diseases that frequently co-exist in older patients and treating physicians.