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Describe physical and psychological changes due to the ageing process.

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Introduction

P5: describe physical and psychological changes due to the ageing process. Physical changes: Some ageing experiences are different. Some people develop serious problems of ageing but some people have few problems. Ageing can involve the physical changes are: * The skin becomes thinner and more wrinkled * The person may lose weight * Bones become more brittle * Muscles become weaker * Vision might weaker Cardiovascular system - the heart pumps blood around the body. The heart can be affected by age. Hypertension, a condition associated with both heart disease and stroke, is more prevalent in older persons. Fatty build up in veins and arteries together with hardening of blood vessels can add to potential for heart disease. Atherosclerosis can result in higher blood pressure and high blood pressure puts the person at risk of strokes (where the blood supply to the brain is blocked) and heart attacks. Respiratory system - when blood is not being pumped round the body efficiently and may result in breathless. The strength of the chest muscles may reduce with ageing and the lungs might deteriorate. ...read more.

Middle

A serious illness that affects older persons is Parkinson's disease. There is a shakiness in the extremities. Loss of vision - After 45 years of age, the ability of the eye to focus begins to weaken and by 65 years there may be little focusing power left, making small print more difficult to read. Up to half of people over the age of 90 may have serious problems with vision. Cataracts result from changes in the lens of the eye. As people grow older, the lenses can become hard and cloudy. This process stops the lens of the eye from being able to change shape or transmit light appropriately. This process results in symptoms such as blurred vision. Cataracts may start to form between the ages of 50 and 60 years and often take time to develop. The majority of people over 75 years have some degree of cataract formation. Diabetes can also cause the development of cataracts. Loss of hearing - Many older people experience difficulty in hearing high frequency (or high pitch) sounds. This can happen because the sensitivity of nerve cells in the inner ear may decrease. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dementia - Because of ageing, dementia is more likely to occur. Approximately 5 per cent of people over the age of 65 years have dementia. The Alzheimer's Society estimates that as many as 20 per cent of people over the age of 80 are affected by dementia. Dementia is a disorder that causes damage to the structure and chemistry of the brain. A person with dementia is likely to experience problems with understanding what is happening around them, communicating, reasoning, finding their way and remembering recent events. There are different kinds of dementia; two major types are Alzheimer's disease and dementia caused by vascular disease, which involves blood supply problems to the brain. Psychological changes: As with physical ageing, each person's experience of psychological changes is likely to be different. Some people may disengage from social activity as argued by Cumming (1975) but many people do remain in close contact with friends and family. Self-confidence - that confidence in undertaking practical tasks decreases in old age but that social confidence increases and that this is one of the contradictions involved in understanding ageing. Physical illness may cause people to lose confidence in skills that they once had. It would be wrong to assume that physical decline removes confidence in general or in all people. ...read more.

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