Issues Affecting The Elderly

Essay by tholtmotaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, January 2008

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

IntroductionThe gradual process of maturation is known as aging. There are both positive and negative components of growing old. The positive components of aging are: an increase in wisdom, expertise, and experience. The negative components of decline are what is termed as senescence and refers to the decline in the capacity for cells to divide and grow. This decline will ultimately lead to death. There are also many changes that occur with aging. Some can be the result of disease, lifestyle, and environmental exposures. Because people age so differently it is hard to define between normal and usual aging. Some people may acquire diseases in old age, while others seem to escape them and die of what is termed as "old age". The process by which harmful effects are minimized is referred to as "successful aging". These people avoid the experiences of undesirable features of aging and remain physically and mentally functional.

With aging there are many physiologic functions that decline. Some of these declines are normal and are due to the aging process and not disease related. The cognitive decline is universal with aging; however dementia and Alzheimer's are considered diseases. Presbyopia which afflicts almost all elderly is natural or normal aging, while glucose control can be considered a normal part of aging, but diabetes although common is considered to be a disease.

Dementia and depression are typical problems that can occur in late life. With these the quality of life, disability and premature death are possible. The elderly with dementia have an increase in physical illnesses as well as death from suicide. Depression be3comes very common as the elderly many times feel that their life was worthless and that they did not accomplish what they wanted to in life. Many times they are left alone to care for...