Aging Process In The Elderly  

As a person ages, the body undergoes various changes gradually. Every single cell in the body undergoes this change, but rate of change varies from person to person. The various changes that occur due to aging depend on genetic and environmental factors. The differences in the aging process and lifespan in various individuals are primarily due to difference in the genetic makeup and the way the body interacts with the external environment. (See Reference 1)

The rate of cellular multiplication slows down as a person ages. The cells that are necessary for the immune system to function properly, like T-cell lymphocytes, diminish with age. Apoptosis is a phenomenon which directs the cells to destroy itself at required intervals. This process keeps the tissues healthy. As one progresses in age, certain chronic diseases like cancer result in the loss of apoptosis process and this causes the harmful cells to multiply and hit the other tissues also. There are few other age related diseases like Alzheimer’s which cause the cells to die too early resulting in an early death of brain tissue and leading to irreversible loss of memory. (See Reference 1)

Apart from these cellular changes, the body undergoes certain visible changes like losing height, forward bending of the spine, increase in the curvature of hips and knees, changes in the density of bone, weight increase, vision impairment and changes in the body composition. Different individuals respond differently to aging. Some might even stay healthy even after being aged, while others might get affected with several age related chronic diseases. (See Reference 1)

There are some of the genetic disorders that are directly related to aging and stimulate the process to occur early. Some of these disorders include Hutchinson-Gilford, Werner’s and the Down syndromes. Environmental factors include lifestyle and the kind of medical attention and care a person gets. For a longer and healthy life, a healthy lifestyle is a must. Healthy lifestyle includes good nutrition, moderate consumption of alcohol, avoidance of cigarettes and tobacco, physical exercise, positive mental outlook and less stress.

Old age is normally associated with chronic diseases and physical limitations. Despite these, a person can consider this phase of life as a time to create, experience variety and feel fulfillment. With age, a person becomes rich in experience, and utilizing this, a person can rise above his or her individual circumstances. (See Reference 1)

Considering aging as a normal phenomenon, a person can still enjoy this phase of life and take up challenges as boldly as one would have taken number of times in their youth. Physical limitations pose many restrictions, but one can always plan a little ahead of time and do things which their body allows. Playing a football or any other contact sport may not be possible! However, there could be some another sport or activity that one can enjoy as much as football. Therefore, aging depends a lot on a person’s outlook. (See Reference 1)

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