De oude patiënt

Fysische diagnostiek
Harianne H.M. Hegge en Tjeerd O.H. de Jongh

The elderly patient

Conflict of interest: none declared. Financial support: none declared.

  • Many elderly have mild physical disorders.

  • It is difficult to differentiate between the physiological symptoms of ageing and disorders in the elderly patient.

  • Many disorders present as non-specific signs or symptoms in the elderly.

  • The relevance of an abnormality can be judged by comparing the patient’s current state with his or her prior level of functioning: what aspect of his or her condition has changed?

  • Attributing an abnormality to a disease instead of aging only makes sense if it has therapeutic consequences for the patient; in this respect, the patient’s level of functioning is an important frame of reference.