Anti aging guide

What are the prospect of aging?



Are there any prospect when it comes to aging

Few people over the age of 25 look forward to the prospect of aging. Twenty-year-olds dread the notion of the “big 3-0”, and people in their 30s think that 40 is surely the beginning of middle age. “Fifty,” said one active, healthy, tennis-playing man, only half in jest, “is the beginning of old age, and 65 has been certified as the beginning of the end. After 65, it’s just a matter of how long you can hold on, still remember your address and telephone number, and maintain bladder control.” The idea that many 75 year-olds maintain careers, businesses, and multiple avocations is foreign to many, and the realization that people 85 years old and older are in the fastest-growing segment of the population is surprising to most.

Aging surely implies deterioration and loss in many respects, but it is a mistake to give up on body and mind easily and before we absolutely must. Age is limiting in all kinds of ways and broadening in some others. Genetic predispositions and other biological factors, general state of health, financial resources, life experiences and relationships, coping skills, and personal attitudes greatly affect how limiting and how broadening the process of aging will be. Some of these factors we can do little to alter; others are highly influenced by thoughts, feelings, and actions that are possible to change.

When does aging begin, and when do we feel its impact?

These complex questions are now the subject of intensive research. Aging is obviously an ongoing process from the earliest stages of development; we are always “growing older.” At some point – and it is a different time for each individual – the deteriorative effects of aging become more extensive and may outweigh the factors that promote growth. Even then, the individual as a whole may be highly functional in most respects. How and when each person feels the impact of these changes depends on a complex mix of biological, psychological, and personality factors. The age of 65 years is merely a historical census marker of the beginning of old age, and recent data disprove its usefulness as a significant milestone in biological, physiological, and psychological terms. Nothing dramatic occurs to most people at or near age 65 and, as a group, people at 65 are not appreciably different, biologically and psychosocially, from those at 55. It is probably not until the middle to late 70s that significant changes occur.

More important than any specific age is the fact that aging is a process that produces enormous variability within the population. Older people are biologically, psychologically, and socially more diverse than any other population sub-group. They are affected, positively and negatively, by the experiences, relationships, illnesses, diet, exercise, medications, and other factors that impact, over the years, on their constitutional base. It is relatively easy to describe the general physical and developmental characteristics of a typical 1-year-old, a 10-year-old, or even a 20-year-old. One-year-olds have weights and heights within a rather narrow range; are largely preverbal; have either just begun to walk or will do so within the next three months; know who makes up their immediate environment and who are strangers; and in a variety of other ways are fairly similar to each other. Even at ages 10 and 20, there is significant homogeneity among age peers. It is far more difficult, maybe impossible, to describe the physical and psychological state of a typical 75 year-old because there are no typical 75-year-olds. They may be entirely competent, healthy, active, independent, and engaged in life, work, or retirement – or frail, depressed, demented, and moribund people who are mostly or entirely dependent on family, friends, other caregivers, or institutions. The range is large and the distribution within the older population wide. At any one point in later life, elderly people as a group are more varied in capacities, activities, experiences, and general functioning than are people at any younger age.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - June 4, 2012 at 4:39 pm