Aging and Health

Your 1+1 Team
March 24, 2022

While that first gray hair we spot at 25-year-olds freaks us out, this isn’t compared to the differences in health you will notice as you get older. Your loved one may be expecting or experiencing physical and mental health changes as they age. Differences in health are completely normal for aging adults, however, it is necessary to be aware of health protocols and precautions for seniors. According to the World Health Organization, elderly groups are at higher risk for disease and disability, so understanding health and aging is crucial for seniors to age successfully.

Aging explained

Your loved one may be wondering “why am I suddenly having trouble walking?” or “how did these wrinkles get here?”. Better preparation for aging requires you to know how it even happens in the first place! The World Health Organization states aging results biologically from the impact of molecular and cellular damage over time. This can cause a gradual decline in physical and mental health, a higher risk of disease, and in time death. However, the molecular and cellular damage comes in variety and is neither consistent nor linear. It doesn’t occur at a specific age, and the effects can vary and differentiate depending on the individual. Beyond biological changes, aging can be associated with other life transitions seniors experience such as retirement, moving into appropriate housing, and death of loved ones.

Common Health conditions with aging

The following are conditions aging adults may experience:

  • Hearing loss
  • Back and neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Cataracts and refractive errors
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Depression
  • Dementia

Old age can also be connected to the arrival of several complex health states often called geriatric syndromes, which includes:

  • Frailty
  • Falls
  • Delirium
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Urinary incontinence

Factors influencing healthy aging

You may be frightened by all the health risks associated with getting older. However, it varies by person because, besides genetics, other factors affect your loved one’s ability to maintain their health as they age. Having a supportive environment allows them to prioritize their health and live a long life filled with opportunities!

While some variations in health are genetic, effects on an aging adult’s mind and body can be linked to their physical and social environments. This entails factors like their homes, neighborhoods, and communities as well as personal characteristics such as their gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

These environments people live in, even as children, can have long-term effects on their health and how they age. Physical and social environments can provide incentives or cause barriers to the health of individuals that affect their decisions, health behavior, and opportunities. For example, for someone living in a lower-income neighborhood, it would have been difficult to eat healthily and avoid the affordable option of fast food. Maintaining healthy habits throughout life such as having a balanced diet and doing physical exercise can contribute to decreasing the chance of non-communicable diseases, boosting physical and mental health, and avoiding care dependency. While you can’t change past life circumstances, you must be aware of how the environment can play a role in your aging experience because it allows you to see the bigger picture of creating the best environment for your loved one to age in.

Your loved one’s body changing can be hard to think about, but they can avoid serious negative effects to their health with the proper care and support. Maintaining their health is key to enjoying their golden years!

1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience.

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