As adults age, their bodies experience many changes, both physiological and physical changes. The physical changes like graying of hair, stooping stature and wrinkles are clearly visible. However, physiological changes in older adults are not visible to the naked eye.
Here are some of the physiological changes that occur in older adults:
- Hearing faculty gets affected. Hearing impairment in older adults is quite common. It is reported that 48 percent of men and 37 percent of women above the age of 75 years experience hearing difficulty. Hearing loss can affect their independence and quality of life.
- Visual changes affect the older adults. Problems regarding reading speed, ability to see in dim light, reading small print and locating objects in poor light are experienced. There can be loss of color perception. The person may not be able to distinguish between two colors. With age the pupil gets shrunk and the requirement of light increases. It is reported that a 60 year old person’s retina receives only one third the amount of light received by a 20 year old person.
- Older adults need assistance in everyday activities. Nearly 50 percent of people who are above the age of 85 need assistance in everyday activities.
- Older adults know that they are going to experience some physical limitations as they grow old. They adapt themselves and learn to live with those limitations.
Some functional losses get speeded up with the onset of age related diseases such as hypertension, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Some people may not realize their disability until one day they come face to face with it.
There is a tendency to hide some disabilities with the fear that it will come in the way of their employment. There are some disabilities which may come up slowly and the person may adapt himself to those changes with the result that there is no effect on their everyday activities.
There is a possibility of impairment of mobility due to ailments such as arthritis, stroke, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury. They find difficulty in using their hands and fingers for operating computers.
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