We are never really prepared for old age. However, to go according to stereotype of old age being lonely and unhappy is not a good idea. Old age can be as happy and healthy. Old people who are frequently faced with feelings of loneliness should keep themselves busy and involve themselves in some activity. Do not let loneliness decide your mental attitude. Old people struggling with loneliness frequently give into it and form a mental attitude where they do not feel like doing anything. This can easily lead into serious outcome of loneliness. Avoid getting into a sedentary lifestyle where your day is passed sleeping or watching television. This is a form of escaping from usual responsibilities and emotional responses.
Loneliness inevitably leads of unhappiness. Find a good support system. Today social services and institutions are working towards helping with age related loneliness. Join a community in your neighborhood. It is the responsibility of elderly people to take responsibility for oneself and not wait for others to do anything for them.
Challenges of ageing, if addressed in a correct manner can help older people in being healthy and living independently for as long as they want!
Skin,hair and teeth:
With age skin becomes much drier, less elastic and fragile. Skin becomes drier and wrinkles appear. Due to less production of natural oils the skin tends to bruise easily and age spots occur. Skin also experiences a reduced ability to regulate body temperature by losing or retaining heat.
This makes older people more and more inclined to the effects of heat and cold. Hair becomes gray and thin. The effect of thinning is especially more prominent in men. Exposure to the sun play a major role in ageing of skin. So the more you are exposed to the sun, more are the chances of the damage to the skin. Skin cancer is a concern and its risk becomes higher once you reach an age of 65. With ageing teeth may began to fall out. Though most of the adults can keep their teeth. But the teeth and gums become susceptible to infections because of lesser production of saliva. Dry mouth is a common problem. Teeth become brittle and can break easily.
Eyes and ears:
With age, it is harder for you to see. By the time you are in your 40s the lens of eyes become less elastic leading to difficulty in seeing. Eyes tend to produce lesser tears and lens turn yellow and less clear. This makes it difficult for older people to adapt to changes in light. Also the ability to distinguish, find details reduces with ageing.EYE CARE IN OLD AGE
Hearing loss affects an increasing number of people in old age. Hearing loss begins to set in when you are in your 30s. With age, you might not be able to hear high pitched or lower frequency sounds. Older people have difficulty in hearing in a crowded room and may have to ask people to repeat themselves. Noise levels and sounds, over the ears, damage the hair cells of you ear. Increasing deterioration in hearing may require older people to use hearing aid.
Heart and blood vessels:
As you age, the heart becomes less effective as a pump and has to work more in order to pump the same amount of blood throughout the body. After you cross your 40s the blood vessels lose their elasticity. Fatty acids may form a covering on your arteries narrowing the passage within the blood vessels. This means even more hard work for the heart and can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure carries with it the potential to lead to heart disease. In old age, your heart is not able to support you with long hours of work or in engaging in any strenuous activities. As a result, older people get tired easily and need long periods of rest.
Digestion and digestive system:
With age the production of digestive fluids decrease leading intestines to work slowly and less effectively. Though it doesn’t cause any major effects on the digestive process except that it can lead to constipation. Digestive process like chewing and swallowing becomes slower leading to slowing down of digestion. As you age, fewer taste buds remain an action that may cause you to taste less.
Brain and nerves:
The number of cells in the brain .i.e. neurons decreases with time. This may diminish ability to learn but intellectual abilities continue to develop. Short term memory and ability to concentrate become lesser. Your reflexes become slower. By you reach you 90s brain has lost up to one tenth of its tissue leading to loss of rational abilities and co ordination.
Urinary and reproductive organs:
With age, kidneys become less effective and take longer time to perform their function, namely, to remove toxic waste from the body. A substantial number of people after the age of 65 face difficulty in bladder control. Women especially experience incontinence due to weakening of pelvic muscles.
Women experience menopause around the age of 45-55 and lose their fertility. In men the testosterone levels decrease and may reduce sexual desire. Fewer viable sperms are produced after men reach the age of 75 years.
Bones, muscles and joints:
Within the age of 25-30 years, the bones reach their maximum density and muscle mass increases. After that, gradually the muscle strength began to reduce and bone becomes weaker. Loss of bone density makes them weaker and more prone to fractures. The continuous wear and tear of joints makes them stiff. This could lead to pain and difficulty in performing day-to-day activities.