Issues Affecting the Aged

Essay by sapphire24dCollege, UndergraduateA, September 2009

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Late adulthood generally begins around the age of 65. During late adulthood there are many different changes that will take place. Erik Erikson suggests that during this time a person needs to find meaning and satisfaction in life. Some people tend to become bitter and disillusioned when they enter late adulthood (, 2008). The research in this paper will explain some of the biological, psychological and social changes that people in late adulthood will experience.

External physical changes will take place during late adulthood. Some changes that occur may include wrinkling and loss of elasticity in the skin, thinning of hair and changes in posture which results from the loss of collagen between the vertebrae in the spine. Internal changes take place just as much as external and are equally as important to the functioning of the aging person. Changes to the cardiovascular system include loss of muscle strength and decline in muscle mass, along with digestive and urinary system problems.

The visual system becomes less effective due to the reduction of pupil size and the change in the lens' transparency. Dexterity is reduced and the respiratory system becomes less efficient. All of these changes are things that an aging person must cope with, as anyone can imagine these changes cannot be easy.

Intellectual changes in late adulthood will not always result in the reduction of the persons abilities. A common cognitive defect seen in aging people is dementia. Although dementias don't occur very often in people over 65, the leading cause for dementia is Alzheimer's disease. This disease is fatal and begins with memory lapse and confusion and will end with the inability to care for ones self (, 2008).

Physical changes can cause stress during exercise due to the decrease in lung and respiratory functions. Aging adults tend...