Ageing - Physical and Psychological Changes. Pathological Ageing Essay

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4. Discuss the physical and psychological changes associated with normal ageing. How can one minimise pathological ageing?

The process of aging has been around as long as life itself. All living organisms pass through three broad stages from conception to death, which are maturation, maturity and aging. Aging affects everyone because nearly everyone has the potential to grow old and all the societies in which we live have older members (Macdonald, 1997). Gerontology is the use of reason to understand aging. The term was used to refer to the scientific study of aging, but nowadays it includes the study of aging using views from other disciplines such as humanities, social policy and human services. To correctly understand aging,
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Mild impairment of memory or learning ability is considered as a normal consequence of normal ageing. Impairment in cognitive functions, example getting lost in familiar places or familiar environments, difficulty in calculation and logical thinking are not considered changes due to normal ageing as these may be due to dementia (Mielke & Kessler, 2006). In order to minimise the effects of mild memory impairment due to normal ageing, adjustment in lifestyle may be useful. Important appointments should be clearly marked in a visible manner on calendars or memo books. It is important that older people maintain regular social activities and also continue to learn new things at their own pace (Brown, 1992).

Muscle and Joints

As part of normal ageing, joint paint is observed, especially in knees and also in obese individuals. Also there is an increased forward bending of the spine. In order to minimize these effects, it is important to avoid overloading of the weight bearing joints. Also it is important to reduce weight, avoid carrying heavy object and maintain a suitable exercise routine to retain muscle strength (Simpson & Jones, 2004). Another aspect is to prevent degeneration of the bone. To counter act this it is important to maintain an adequate level of calcium intake. This can be done by drinking at least one glass of milk per day. Perform regular exercise and quit smoking. It is important to maintain correct posture at