What is aging
Aging is a biological fact that has its own specific way of occurring outside human control.
Some people reach the age of seventy and are in good health, while some need to care for others.
There are several factors that affect the health of older adults, whether they are individual or environmental.
The common problems that affect the elderly vary between physical, social and psychological.
The importance of healthy aging is to maintain independence when performing daily needs.
Aging occurs at the level of physical changes as a result of the accumulation of large amounts of products of molecular and cell interactions over time;
This leads to a gradual diminution in the physical and psychological capabilities, an increased risk of disease, and death in the end, but these changes are not inevitable, as some people may reach the age of seventy and are in good health, while some are weak and need care of others.
Definition of health
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or disability.
Definition of aging
The aging process is a biological fact that has its specific way in occurring outside the human control, and of course differs from a community to another, in developed countries is an indication of aging, as 60-65 years is the age of retirement and the beginning of aging.
Facts affecting the health of the elderly
- Habits and behaviors.
- Age-related changes.
- Genetic factors.
- Having diseases.
- Home environment.
- Assistive technologies.
- Social facilities.
Common health problems in the elderly
Health and physical problems:
Chronic diseases such as:
- High blood pressure
- Urinary incontinence
- Visual impairment and hearing
- Heart diseases.
- Incidents of falls and fractures.
Diseases of the musculoskeletal system such as:
- loss of balance,
- Gait disorder,
- Difficulty in movement or lack thereof.
- Malnutrition (wasting or obese).
- Respiratory diseases such as influenza and pneumonia.
Nervous system diseases such as:
Gastrointestinal problems such as:
- Impaired sense of taste,
- Decreased stomach and intestinal ability to digest and absorb food,
- Oral and dental problems such as: tooth fall.
Mental and psychological problems
Mental and psychological diseases such as:
- Sleep disturbance.
- Social isolation.
- Low level of functionality.
It is the ability to perform basic daily activities such as: eating, dressing, bathing, and walking, and using toilets without the help of others for the longest life span even if it uses walking and mobility aids such as: stick, gait for the elderly.
The importance of healthy aging:
- Prolonging an active healthy life expectancy.
- Maintaining functional ability during the aging stage and continuing independence in fulfilling their daily needs.
- Reducing premature deaths.
- Raising morale and a sense of wellness in the elderly.
- Increase the number of people who enjoy a positive quality of life and participate in social and cultural activities.
- Reducing costs for medical treatment and care services.
The road to healthy aging
Preparing for healthy aging begins at an early age; As there are some things that help a person to maintain his health when he is old, and it includes:
Maintaining healthy behaviors such as: a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and non-smoking that help:
- Reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases.
- Improve physical and mental capabilities.
- Maintain muscle mass.
- Maintain the cognitive function.
- Dependency delay.
- Prevention of chronic diseases throughout life prevents the accumulation of negative effects of their risk factors; This reduces the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, and reduces the risk of complications, the most important of which are physical disability, stroke and cardiovascular disease.
- Take care to do regular medical checks.
- Take care to control chronic diseases.
- Supportive environments that help them do important work, regardless of their lost capabilities, such as: availability of buildings, safe and accessible transportation, and accessible ways.
- Taking a sufficient amount of sleep, as many elderly people complain of sleep problems such as: insomnia, drowsiness during the day, and frequent waking during the night, and there are several guidelines for obtaining a healthy sleep:
- Ensure that the bedroom is quiet, dark and cool, and the mattress is comfortable.
- Use an eye mask to help block out light.
- Turn off the TV and electronic devices at least one hour before bed.
Misconceptions about health and aging
- Reaching a certain age will limit the person from practicing the activities he used to do, become weak, and become a burden for his family.
In fact, not all elderly people have the same level of health, so those who are still in his power must be given freedom to practice the activities that he can do, and to use his strength for the benefit.
- Memory loss is part of the aging stages.
Memory loss is not an inevitable consequence of aging, so a person can train the brain and learn everything new at any age.