Half of seniors aged 65 or more have at least one condition which significantly impacts upon their daily routine, according to a wide-ranging US study.
Activities such as getting dressed, eating, bathing and going to the toilet can be a struggle for those with geriatric conditions.
Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System found that 50 per cent of the elderly had experienced at least one of the following in moderate to severe form: cognitive defects, falls, incontinence, low body mass index, dizziness, vision impairment or hearing problems.
The study also revealed that the rates of dependency among people with geriatric conditions were similar to those of older patients with chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
Dr Christine Cigolle, the lead author of the study, said: "The focus in medicine has long been on diseases and how to diagnose and treat them.
"But that focus often isn't helpful in regard to older adults; they tend to have one or more of these geriatric conditions, which are not considered diseases and can be missed by physicians."
The study is published in August 7th edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine.