Age and the ageing process can be examined from many points of view. Ageing can be examined by chronological, biological and psychological aspects.
Chronological age is based solely on the passage of time. It is a person’s age in years. Chronological age has limited significance in terms of health. Nonetheless, the likelihood of developing a health problem increases as people age, and it is health problems, rather than normal ageing, that is the primary cause of functional loss during old age. Because chronological age helps predict many health problems, it has some legal and financial uses.
Biological age refers to changes in the body that commonly occur as people age. Because these changes affect some people sooner than others, some people are biologically old at 65, and others not until a decade or more later. However, most noticeable differences in the apparent age among people of similar chronologic age are caused by lifestyle, habit, and subtle effects of disease rather than by differences in actual ageing.
Psychological age is based on how people act and feel. For example, an 80-year-old who works, plans, looks forward to future events, and participates in many activities is considered psychologically young.
Ageing is a gradual, continuous process of natural change that begins in early adulthood. During the early middle age, many bodily functions begin to gradually decline. People do not become old or elderly at any specific age. Traditionally, age 65 has been designated as the beginning of old age. But the reason is based on history, not biology. The age 65 has been chosen as the age for retirement in many countries and it continues to be the retirement age for most people in developed societies, although this tradition is probably changing. Majority of the changes caused by ageing can be characterized as normal. They are the slight degree of weakening of the ability to function physically an increase in the psychologic vulnerability, the adopting of external influences becoming more difficult, an emphasis on the individual traits and the weakening of the short-term memory and recalling. The sense functions weaken which for its part affects the managing of the old person. Normal ageing does not hamper the ability to function, except in stress situations.
A functional decline that is part of ageing sometimes seems like a functional decline that is part of a disorder. For example, with advanced age, a mild decline in mental function is nearly universal and is considered normal ageing. This decline includes increased difficulty in learning new languages, decreased attention span, and increased forgetfulness. In contrast, the decline that occurs in dementia is much more severe. For example, people who are ageing normally may misplace things or forget details, but people who have dementia forget entire events. People with dementia also have difficulty doing normal daily tasks (such as driving, cooking, and handling finances) and understanding the environment, including knowing what year it is and where they are. Thus, dementia is considered a disorder, even though it is common in late life. Certain kinds of dementia, such as Alzheimer disease, differ from normal ageing in other ways as well.
With ageing, the human being meets changes to which he/she adapts him/herself using all those resources which have accumulated to him/her during his/her life. The ageing of an individual is a comprehensive process, in which the physical changes will usually first and gradually take place. The social environment of the individual reacts to the changes. The experience of the process will consist of the ageing when the individuals simultaneously realize the changes themselves and what are their own and environments attitude towards their own ageing and usually for ageing. Ageing can be examined as processes which affect each other: physical, mental, cognitive, cultural or social but, however, it must be remembered that each of them will be only one point of view to the manifold wholeness of the ageing. The individual differences in ageing are considerable.
The human being who has aged is thinking, wanting and he/she makes initiatives and operates in his/her own cultural environment. The experience of ageing is created in relation to the world in which the individual lives. Every environment also produces an individual ageing process. The life of the human being can be examined from the point of view of the life expectancy in which case attention is paid for example on which decade the person’s life periods have taken place. Ageing is above all an individual process and the aged are a very heterogeneous group of people.
The level of physical activity is one of the strongest predictors of healthy ageing, in particular for older age groups. Physical activity can improve respiratory and muscular fitness, and bone and functional health, and reduce the risk of depression and cognitive decline. For older people, physical activity includes recreational or leisure-time physical activity, transportation (e.g. walking and cycling), occupational physical activity (if still engaged in work), household chores, play, games, sports or exercise planned in the context of daily, family, and community activities.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.