When my elderly parents fell ill in the early 1980s—my father suffering the second of two debilitating strokes, and my mother, from severe heart disease—I decided to have them come live with me so I could look after them. It was gratifying and, given their complex health problems, challenging. Because I was working in the field of geriatrics—the branch of healthcare that focuses on the care of older people—I knew that older adults have unique care needs. So I learned as much as I could about my parents’ conditions and, with the help of a wonderful interdisciplinary healthcare team, was able to ensure they got the care they needed.
As we grow older, we tend to have more complex health problems. We’re more likely to have multiple illnesses. Our symptoms may differ from those of younger people. We may respond differently to medications. We may need to take several medications and certain drugs, taken together, may cause side effects or interact in harmful ways.
Because older adults’ health issues are unique, we at the American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging are committed to helping older people and their caregivers get the information they need about health and health issues in later life, and how to manage them. That’s why we developed this new website—HealthinAging.org. All of the content on Health in Aging is reviewed by healthcare professionals who are members of the American Geriatrics Society and experts in caring for older people.
HealthinAging.org is a one-stop, comprehensive source of up-to-date information about what to do to stay healthy, and what to do when health problems arise in later life. The site’s Aging & Health: A to Z section for example, offers information on more than 60 health conditions common among older people, including symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment options. Special Unique to Older Adults sections provide additional information about complications that may occur with a given health problem, and what to do if you, or an older adult you care for, has these complications. There are also links to other reliable sources of more detailed information about specific health conditions.
We hope you’ll find the information you’re looking for in HealthinAging.org. Be sure to let us know what you think of our new site. We’ll be adding content regularly and your feedback and suggestions will help us make our site even better.