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Effects of Aging

Written By Admin on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 | 9:31 AM

 
The transformation that takes place throughout one’s life is inevitable. The growth and 
development of becoming an adult forces many body and mind changes. Physical appearance, 
mental capability and other issues all take place in our later adult years.   All of these changes 
happen at different times for everyone. Nobody ages at the same rate. Aging is impossible to run 
away from but millions of people spend countless dollars to slow the aging process.   The biggest 
notable changes occur between the ages of 50 and 60. Some physical changes can be postponed 
by frequent medical visits with a doctor. 
    Most in the prime of their lives do everything one can to lead a healthy lifestyle. As we grow 
older, we have a tendency to stop being careful with what we eat. Our diets go by the wayside 
and in turn, our physical health suffers. When an elderly person stops eating healthy, he or she 
begins to become malnourished. Several factors of malnourishment are the teeth become weak 
and may even begin to fall out. The mind is not as strong and virulent as the body is suffering 
huge vitamin deficiencies because of the lack of proper diet. Due to the teeth being less strong, 
an elderly may have to resort
to soft foods that will encourage the malnutrition. A study 
conducted on eating and the elderly showed signs that the social factors involved with the elderly 
have a very large role in how much and what an aging adult eats. “We have demonstrated that 
meals eaten with other people are 46% larger than meals eaten alone, and the more people 
present at the meal, the more will be eaten” (de Castro, p. 1). 
    Exercise along with healthy eating also plays an important role in the aging process. “The 
inactive older adult – a large proportion of the population – has an increased burden of chronic 
conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle that continues to rise steadily. Although, the 
health status of older adults varies from individual to individual, a strong association between 
functional ability and regular physical activity exists” (Sawyer, Castaneda-Sceppa, pg. 2). I sat 
down with my elderly grandparents, and asked them what they thought about the effects of 
aging. My grandmother has lived a very sedentary life always making up excuses to avoid
exercise. My 85-year-old grandfather, on the other hand, walks an average of one mile every 
day. My grandmother has many health problems and I believe this is due to her sedentary 
lifestyle. My grandfather has had medical problems but all related
to his farming background. 
Rotator cuffs needing to be replaced and heart bypass surgery because of his bad eating habits 
growing up. There have been no major health problems for him like with my grandmother. 
    Many elderly are left alone and this also leads to depression and feelings of abandonment. As 

aging progresses, the mental psyche is not what it once was. The memory begins to fade, long 

and short-term memory is also affected. When we are young, we remember everything from 

someone’s age to phone numbers, license plate numbers, and all sorts of other small details. As 

our brain ages, it loses some of the ability to retain information. Blood flow decreases over time 

as our brain loses volume. According to the American Psychological Association, “Episodic

memory, which captures the “what,” “where,” and “when” of our daily lives, is to blame. Both 

episodic and longer term memory decline somewhat over time” 

(http://www.apa.org/pi/aging/memory-and-aging.pdf). 

    Mortality is also often thought about as aging takes place. When young, most believe that 

invincibility is at the fingertips. As aging occurs, one can begin to evaluate life choices and 

with the physical changes of aging, makes seeing death inevitable. People who have 

faith in God allows them not to
be afraid of dying because they know they are 

going to a better place. Those without faith often wonder what happens to them after they die. 

“Judgment and eternity, and indeed the very existence of God, provide great solace to many” 

(Smith pg. 1). For those who do not believe in God, would have a tendency to think more 

scientifically about death. Science brings more of an absolute break down of the aging body and 

deteriorating into the Earth. 

    Grieving the loss of a loved one is a very personal experience Death is a traumatic experience   

How a person mourns the loss is very dependent upon the circumstances surrounding the death. 

Some deal with the loss much better if death has been known about for some time. It may make 

handling the death easier when one knows that the family member is no longer suffering from 

pain of cancer or other illness or injury. The family members believe that it gives them time for 

closure allows the ability to say goodbye. Some also find it harder to deal with death when it 

comes unexpectedly. Sudden heart attacks leave family members reeling because they could not 

tell the loved one how much he or she was cared for.

    We can see that even though there are hundreds of products that can slow aging and prolong 

death, both will come
eventually. My grandparents are not mournful of their lives. They enjoy 

how well they raised three children. They have seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, 

all of whom they are very proud of. My grandfather told me that he used to be afraid to die but 

he has faith that he will see all of us family members again and that helps ease his tension. 

Knowing that one’s life is fulfilled also helps the aging process. 

Reference:
John M de Castro  (2002). Age-related changes in the social, psychological, and temporal influences on food intake in free-living healthy, adult humans. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A Biological sciences and medical sciences, 57A(6), M368-77.  Retrieved September 4, 2010, from Research Library. (Document ID: 125338371).
http://www.apa.org/pi/aging/memory-and-aging.pdf, Retrieved September 4, 2010.
Sawyer, K. and Castaneda-Sceppa, C. (2010). Impact of aerobic physical activity on cardiovascular and noncardiovascular outcomes: is anyone too old to exercise? [Aging Health, 6(2), 251-260.  Retrieved September 4, 2010, from ProQuest Health and Medical Complete. (Document ID: 1991306451).

Smith, S. (2009). Coping with the mystery of death. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 181(8), 504-5.  Retrieved September 4, 2010, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1882477381).
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