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Key questions of psychosomatic medicine in the elderly

Volume 6, 2009, Nr. 3

Johannes Kipp & Bertram von der Stein:

Key questions of psychosomatic medicine in the elderly(Abstract)

Physical changes require high adaption efforts of aging people which can still be accomplished without significant restrictions in the third phase of life, however, no longer in the fourth. Based on these reflections this is an attempt to define the border between the third and fourth phase psychosomatically. In the third phase, especially after retiring, an increased heterogeneity of aging processes in the context of the change of generations occurs. Thanks to the wellness movement, activities that help maintain health are not only effective in the long-run but can also contribute to a well-being in the short-run. In the fourth phase the reduction of physical and mental performance cannot be compensated for anymore and people in this age are increasingly dependent on help and care. The holistic geriatric concepts of disease (e.g. frailty, failure of thrive etc.) matter in assessment, therapy, and rehabilitation, but should also be extended to psychosomatic medicine.