The process of aging is an inevitable reality that begins at birth and continues throughout one’s lifetime. Human beings and animals face aging and mortality. The same applies to fungi. Conversely, various other species can be regarded as immortal.
Some plants like strawberries grow runners with the aim to produce clones of themselves while bacteria is known to produce daughter cells. On the other hand, animals that fall under the genus Hydra are capable of regenerating themselves to avoid dying due to old age.
Aging is a major risk factor for a number of human diseases. As a result, up to two thirds of people who die each day around the world, pass on due to age-related health complications. The proportion is significantly higher in developed countries, reaching 90 percent.
Humans experience a wide range of age-related physiological changes that have an impact on their overall functionality and appearance. For instance, the process of cognitive decline starts in the mid-20s. Photoaging causes the development of wrinkles, especially on areas that are exposed to the sun. Female fertility generally declines after reaching its peak in the mid-20s.
The risk of developing presbyopia increases by the age of 35 and the majority of people need reading spectacles between the ages of 45 and 50. This is due to the hardening of lens as the levels of a-crystallin declines marginally. The process may be exacerbated by environmental factors, such as higher temperatures.
Hair turns gray around the age of 50 while pattern hair loss also kicks in for 50 percent of males and 25 percent of women. Females typically undergo menopause between the ages of 49 and 52. Problems associated with arthritis become more prevalent after the age of 60. Meanwhile, 50 percent of individuals over the age of 75 experience hearing loss that negatively impacts spoken communication.
Cataracts affect up to 50 percent of senior citizens over the age of 80 in the United States. The condition usually necessitates cataract surgery. Frailty reduces mobility for a quarter of seniors over the age of 85. The condition is attributed to the loss of muscle mass and other factors.
Experts say the maximum suggested human lifespan stands at 115 years. The oldest human was Jeanne Calment who lived for 122 years and passed away in 1997.
Old age has the capacity to trigger dementia. The condition affects around three percent of people aged between the ages of 65 and 74. The proportion increases to about 19 percent between the ages of 75 and 84 whereas 50 percent of individuals over the age of 85 are affected by dementia.
The spectrum varies with some individuals experiencing mild cognitive impairment while others are faced with more acute neurodegenerative diseases. These include Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s, Alzheimer’s and cerebrovascular disease. In addition, it is possible to experience a wide variety of memory retention issues.
In some cases, the problems may not extend to general knowledge or semantic memory, which is involved in the retention of vocabulary definitions, among other things. These aspects eventually decline over time. Overall intelligence can be affected by cognitive decline and the degree or severity of the decline varies from one person to another. It is also possible for intelligence to remain unchanged throughout one’s lifetime.
Musculoskeletal problems are generally caused by premature degenerative joint and bone disease. As a result, individuals experience considerable difficulty moving and may become disabled. Osteoporosis is one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions that affects an estimated 54 million Americans over the age of 50.
The condition drastically increases the risk of fractures, which affects quality of life for seniors. Some of the factors that elevate risk of developing osteoporosis include decreased strength, low physical activity, early menopause and low muscle tone. Up to 40 percent of elderly adults and 22 percent of middle age adults suffer from osteoarthritis of the spine.
The condition is associated with a variety of symptoms, including pain, weakness and numbness. In some cases, other pre-existing health diseases may make it difficult to detect these symptoms. Flat feet, a congenital condition is another form of musculoskeletal abnormality linked to aging.
The chronic condition is known to affect approximately 26 percent of females and 37 percent of males who are older than 65. The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics released the figures.
Old age generates wide-ranging risk factors, including high levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure. These factors drastically increase the possibility of suffering a stroke or developing cardiovascular disease.
Visual impairments are another condition that affects one’s ability to handle day-to-day activities without assistance. Eye disorders are common among the elderly. The prevalence of this problem increases by 18 percent in the 30 to 39 age group and by 28 percent between the ages of 40 and 49. On the other hand, the prevalence rates for the 50 to 59 age group is 45 percent.
Some of the common ophthalmological complications include keratoconus, strabismus, refraction problems and cataracts. The prevalence rates of cataracts in adults in the general population stands at 17 percent. Visual issues can still persist even after an individual undergoes surgery. Some of the disorders faced by the elderly include poor use of bifocals and aphakia (absence of the eye’s lens).
Senile cataracts are characterized by the progressive thickening of the lens.
Cancer affects millions of elderly people around the world and it is regarded as the second leading cause of death for individuals older than 65. Figures released by the CDC show that up to 21 percent of females and 28 percent of males over the age of 65 suffer from the disease. A significant number of cancer types are treatable when detected early. Doctors use a variety of screening tests to detect cancer, including skin checks, colonoscopies and mammograms.
Seniors with cancer can significantly improve their quality of life by following healthy senior living recommendations.
Chronic lower respiratory diseases affect more than 10 percent of elderly men and women. The diseases include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis (emphysema). Respiratory conditions can increase the risk of developing pneumonia and other infections.
Health practitioners recommend undergoing lung infection tests, using oxygen properly and taking the correct medication. This has the capacity to improve the quality of life of sufferers.
According to a report published by the Alzheimer’s Association, this condition affects one in nine seniors over the age of 65, which represents a proportion of 11 percent. However, the figure does not show the full picture because the disease is difficult to diagnose accurately.
Alzheimer’s is one of several diseases that increase the burden of care. Elderly people suffering from the condition are faced with safety issues. For this reason, it is necessary to consider non-medical home care Florida or in an old age facility.
Self-perception of aging
Research studies have showed a link between positive self-perception and optimal wellbeing and reduced mortality. The correlation has been observed in many older people regardless of health status, psychological functioning or socioeconomic status. However, the finding is particularly is stronger for males when compared to females.
People who are objectively healthy tend to perceive their well-being better than those who are unwell. As a result, the subjective health of older people stays considerably stable. This is applicable even when the health status deteriorates. Studies revealed that perceived health can improve with age when an individual makes an effort to control objective health.
Scientists refer to the phenomenon as the paradox of aging. It is attributed to a variety of factors, such as social comparison. Many people tend to compare their own health status to people of the same age.
The concept of successful aging focuses on the elimination of cognitive and physical disabilities. The concept was conceived in the 1950s and eventually gained popularity 30 years later. Successful aging has three key components that include:
– Social and productive engagement
– Freedom from disease and disability,
– High cognitive and physical functioning
Benefits of non-medical home care in Florida
Home-based non-medical care allows seniors to age in-place by avoiding the inconvenience of moving to an institution. The home environment is ideal for the elderly because they enjoy daily interaction with loved ones in addition to the familiarity with the settings. Institutions, on the other hand, are filled with strangers, which may lead to discomfort. In turn, this can worsen pre-existing health conditions.
A home care aide can provide assistance commensurate with the level of care required by an individual. Professional caregivers can help with a wide variety of daily tasks, including bathing and food preparation.
Opting for non-medical home care has the capacity to minimize chances of worsening health conditions. In addition, professional caregivers reduce safety risks faced by a senior citizen suffering from conditions, such as Alzheimer’s. Families of the elderly can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their loved one is received personalized care by an aide at home.