Seniors' Health
What Is Aging?

Overview:

  • ​Ageing is a biological reality and has its own dynamics, which is beyond human control. 
  • While some 70 year-olds enjoy extremely good health other people require help from others.
  • There are several factors that affect the health of older people, individual or environmental. 
  • Older people's common problems vary from physical, social and psychological.
  • The significance of healthy aging lies in the continuation of performing daily needs independently. 
Introduction:
At the biological level, ageing results from the impact of the accumulation of a wide variety of molecular and cellular damage over time. This leads to a gradual decrease in physical and mental capacity, a growing risk of disease, and ultimately, death. But these changes are not inevitable. While some 70 year-olds enjoy extremely good health, other 70 year-olds are frail and require significant help from others.

Defining Health:
According to WHO, “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”

Defining Ageing: 
"Ageing process is a biological reality and has its own dynamics, which is beyond human control, and of course its definition differs from one society to another. In the developed world, the chronological time is an indicator of old age, and the age of 60-65 years is the retirement age and the beginning of old age. In many other part of the world, chronological time has little or no importance in the meaning of old age. Other factors determine the old age such as: the ability to do the works assigned to them, meaning that old age is seen to begin at the point when active contribution is no longer possible", Gorman 2000.

Factors Influencing Healthy Ageing:
  • Individual Factors:
  • ​Habits and behaviors.
  • Aging-related changes.
  • Genetic factors.
  • Developing diseases.
  • Environmental Factors:
  • ​Household environment.
  • Assistive technologies.
  • Transportation.
  • Social facilities. 

Common Health Conditions Associated with Ageing:
First: Physical Health Problems:
  • ​Chronic diseases such as: diabetics, hypertension, urinary incontinence, osteoarthritis, impaired vision and hearing and cancer.
  • Heart diseases.
  • Fall and fractures.
  • Diseases of the musculoskeletal system such as: arthritis, loss of balance, walking disorder, difficulty or lack of movement.
  • Malnutrition (wasting or obesity).
  • Respiratory diseases such as: influenza, pneumonia.
  • Neurological diseases such as: stroke, Parkinson's disease.
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as: weak taste, low stomach and intestines ability to digest and absorb food, constipation.
  • Dryness.
  • Oral and dental problems such as: tooth fall.
Second: Mental Problems:
  • ​Mental problems such as: dementia, Alzheimer's, depression, delirium.
  • Sleep disorder.
Third: Social Problems:
  • ​Isolation.
  • Low level of job performance.
Healthy Ageing:
It is the ability to perform the basic daily tasks such as: eating, dressing, bathing, walking and using toilet independently, even if they use walking and moving aids. 

Importance of Healthy Ageing:
  1. ​Increasing the average of active, healthy aging.
  2. Preserving the body's functional capacity during aging, and maintaining the autonomy of older persons to perform their daily activities.
  3. Reducing early mortality.
  4. Boosting the morale and well-being of the elderly.
  5. Increasing the number of those who enjoy a positive lifestyle, and contribute to social and intellectual activities.
  6. Reducing the cost of medical treatment and health care services.

The Way to a Healthy Ageing:
Planning for healthy ageing is best done early in life when you can make some things that help you to maintain your health as you get older, including:
  1. Maintaining healthy behaviors such as: balanced diet, regular physical activity, and refraining from tobacco, which contribute to:
  • ​Reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Improving physical and mental capacity.
  • Marinating muscle mass.
  • Preserving cognitive function.
  • Delaying care dependency.
    2. Prevention of chronic diseases throughout life course will help you to avoid accumulation of negative effects of their risk factors, which leads to reducing the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and their complications, most notably physical disability, stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
  3.  Keenness to perform periodic medical examinations.
  4.  Keenness to control chronic diseases. 
  5. Supportive environments that enable them to do what is important to them, despite losses in capacity, such as: the availability of safe and accessible public buildings and transport, and easy to use roads. 
  6.  Getting a good night sleep: many older people experience sleep problems such as insomnia, feeling sleepy during the day and frequent wake up at night. To have a healthy sleep, follow these tips:
  • ​Make sure your bedroom is quite, dark and cool and your bedding is comfortable.
  • Use an eye mask to block out light.
  • Turn off TV and other electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime.  

Misconceptions on Ageing and Health:
  • ​​Reaching a certain age will prevent a person from practicing the activities he used to practice, and he will become weak and a burden on his family.
In fact not all older people are at the same health level. Those who are still active must be given the freedom to exercise the activities they can do, and use their power for their own benefit.
  • ​Memory loss is a part of ageing process:
Memory loss is not an inevitable part of the aging process, a person can train his brain and learn new things at any age. 




 
 
 
Content Evaluation
Reading times
Last Update 18 July 2018 01:44 PM
Do you find this content useful? Yes No Suggest
Satisfaction of visitorsA sign of happiness
Satisfaction of visitors Completely satisfied Satisfied Neutral Not Satisfied Completely dissatisfied
This site can be viewed on all screen tones and all smart devices and supports all kinds of browsers
All Rights Reserved – Ministry of Health – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ©