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Theories of ageing p5

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In the first part of my assignment I am going to describe the physical and psychological changes due to the ageing process. Firstly, I am going to start by describing the physical changes associated with ageing. The first two stages I am going to discuss are Puberty and the menopause. There are many physical and psychological changes associated with Puberty. This is because the body will have to make changes within the body itself to adjust it to a new type of change. During puberty the girls start to develop breasts that enlarge in size as they get older. The girl’s hip tends to widen and her waist narrows down because of the redistribution of fat under the direction of these hormones. Hair starts to grow in pubic places and the underarm and they tend to start to get thick and dark. The menstrual cycle starts as bleeding from the vaginal area of their body because of the egg not being fertilised. Another psychological change that will occur in the adolescence is mood swings. At any given time, the adolescence can be very happy but the mood can change to from happy to very angry. It is not surprising that, with the speed of these changes, some adolescents become very concerned about their appearance. They may need a lot of reassurance, especially if they are not growing or maturing as quickly as their friends. They and their parents may worry less if they remember that there's a lot of difference in the ages at which these changes occur. Growth and development uses a lot of energy, and this may be why teenagers often seem to need so much sleep. Their getting-up late may be irritating, but it may well not be just laziness. They make close relationships outside the family, with friends of their own age. Relationships within the family also change. Parents become less important in their children's eyes as their life outside the family develops.These friendships are part of learning how to get on with other people and gaining a sense of identity that is distinct from that of the family. Clothes and appearance are a way of expressing solidarity with friends, although teenage children are still more likely to get their values from the family. Peer pressure tends to take place during the life stage of adolescence because individual tend to listen to their friends rather than family. During the menopause, women face a lot of changes with their physical and psychological health and well-being. Just before, menopause occurs, the menstrual cycle will become irregular and this is a sign of menopause. Within the women’s body, many bodily changes are occurring and one of them includes the following; the ovaries become less responsive to stimulation by follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). To try to compensate for the decreased response, the body produces more of these ovary-stimulating hormones for a time. The level of these hormones will eventually decrease. The hormones produced by the ovaries include the different forms of oestrogen including testosterone. These hormones also decrease around menopause. The ovaries continue to produce small amounts of testosterone and some oestrogen. The hormones produced by the pituitary gland are also decreased. When menopause has occurred for more than a year and the women have not gone through a period that means menopause is officially taking over and the women cannot get pregnant again. Psychological problems such as hot flushes, mood swings, headaches, and sleep disturbances are also common symptoms that occur during menopause. The causes of these changes are also related to the decreasing amount of estrogen produced by the ovaries. Physically, the skin of the women gets thin and will become more elasticity. Another physical problem that might occur that during menopause the women are most likely to suffer from heart disease or a stroke because of the lack of functioning within the body. Now, I am going to describe the physical changes associated with ageing and the first body system that has an affect during ageing is the cardiovascular system. As people gradually get older, the walls of the arteries thicken and lose their elasticity. This prevents the flow of the blood through the arteries into the main organs; there is a decrease of blood flow throughout the body and to the organs. Consequently, this causes blood pressure to increase that causes more problems for the body. Relating to the cardiovascular system, the erythrocytes that are part of the bloodstream decrease slowing down the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The Peripheral veins become constricted by the formation of stationary blood clots. These can dislodge, causing an embolism in the lungs and this shuts down the whole circulation. One thing that does remain constant with age is the volume and composition of blood. This means that most lab values remain normal. Abnormal lab values for blood tests usually indicate alterations in other organ systems. For instance, fasting blood glucose level increases with aging but not as a result of changes in the blood. Rather, it is the result of age-related changes associated with insulin.  Blood vessel walls become thicker and tougher. Since the walls no longer have the elasticity to adjust to sudden changes in blood pressure. As the inner surface of blood vessels become roughened, age-related changes cause an increased risk in the development of fatty plaques and of thrombus formation.  As the walls of veins weaken and stretch, their valves become incompetent. This is more likely to occur in the legs where the walls are subject to greater pressure as the blood struggles to return to the heart against the force of gravity. There is a reduction in exercise cardiac output, because the heart is not able to pump the blood as quickly so this means circulation is slowed. In addition, the heart cannot respond as forcefully, to the increased workload of the exercised heart. The health of the myocardium depends on blood supply, and with age, the likelihood of atherosclerosis increases, causing the coronary arteries to narrow, restricting the vital blood supply. Another body system that is affected by age is the respiratory system. Many factors interact to reduce the efficiency of the respiratory system in elderly individuals. Elastic tissue deteriorates throughout the body and reduces the lungs ability to inflate and deflate. The rib cage does not move as freely because of arthritic changes. These changes contribute to the reduction in exercise performance and capabilities seen with increasing age. As the respiratory system begins aging, certain changes occur. The lung itself begins to lose its elasticity. Due to that effect causes it to become less efficient in the processing of oxygen. The results of the respiratory system aging, are a decrease in the volume of carbon dioxide that can be expelled, this is in direct proportion to the amount of air that is taken in. As a result, the respiratory system aging process affects all organs and tissue in the body. As our bodies need oxygen, the less it is receiving the harder it is for the bodies systems to function at normal capacity. Blood vessels become attached because of the prevention of blood flow. Some illnesses can be fatal in a person with a compromised respiratory system. The third body system that is called muscoskeletal system is one of the systems that if affected by the ageing process. As people grow older, there bones are more fragile and easy to break. The cartilage that is situated within the joints becomes thinner enabling them to get damaged easily. In old age, muscles are not able to contract as easily and quickly as they used to in their early age. The last system that is affected by ageing is the nervous system. As people get older, they respond to things much slower than a middle-aged person this is because it takes time for the message to travel to the brain and stimulate the receptors in order for them to feel something. Brain size and weight reduction mainly occurs in the cerebral cortex. Due to the fatty deposits building up in the blood vessels reduces the blood flow to the brain. The sensory systems including hearing, vision, balance, smell, taste become less acute. Lights may be brighter, sounds louder and smells stronger. Visual and hearing problems tend to occur during ageing. The skin becomes thinner and the collagen and elastic content slowly vanishes. As the skin loses its elasticity, lines and wrinkles begin to form. At the same time, the walls of the tiny blood vessels tend to harden, causing a decrease in blood circulation. The sweat glands become less active. The skin loses some of its ability to regulate temperature and becomes less sensitive to changes in heat and cold. The reduced circulation also slows down the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the skin Loss of the skin's elasticity and the body's biological changes in mid life may cause the fine lines and wrinkles on the face and neck to become more prominent. Individuals with light, thin, and dry skin tend to develop lines and winkles at an earlier age than do individuals whose skin are oily, thick and dark. Now, I am going to describe the psychological changes associated with ageing relating to disorders of some of the systems inside the human body.  Age is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease including heart disease. The incidence of heart disease increases with age for both men and women. Men develop a type of heart disease called coronary artery disease. Before age 60, one out of three men has heart disease, but only one out of ten women does. After menopause, the risk of heart disease in women also.  It is known that certain changes to the heart even in the absence of disease are common as people age. This includes a thickening and stiffening of the heart walls including the left ventricle which leads to a reduced ability of the heart to relax and fill adequately between beats. This reduced capability of filling of the heart can further lead to inefficient pumping during periods of increased exertion, contributing to fatigue and exercise intolerance. Another age-related change includes enlargement of the left atrium, the upper chamber of the heart above, which can lead to atrial fibrillation (unorganized heart rhythm originating from the upper heart chambers). Slowing of the pacemaker cells of the atria, another consequence of normal aging, can also lead to rhythm problems. Arteries also change with age. They become stiffer with thicker walls and a subsequent reduced ability to expand properly as blood pumps through them. This can cause high blood pressure which in turn increases the risk for heart disease and stroke in older individuals. The second body system that introduces a lot of diseases with ageing is called the respiratory system. The disorder that is associated with this system is called emphaseamia. In this disorder, the walls of the alveoli break down, reducing the gas exchange area of the lungs. The condition develops slowly and is seldom a direct cause of death. However, the gradual loss of gas exchange area forces the heart to pump ever-larger volumes of blood to the lungs in order to satisfy the body's needs. The added strain can lead to heart failure. Arthritis is a term used to describe a number of painful conditions of the joints and bones. Two of the main types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Cartilage that is made up of connective tissue between the bones gradually wastes away and this can lead to painful rubbing of bone on bone in the joints. It may also cause joints to fall out of their natural positions. The most frequently affected joints are in the hands, spine, knees and hip. Rheumatoid arthritis is a more severe, but less common condition. The body's immune system attacks and destroys the joint, causing pain and swelling. It can lead to reduction of movement, and the breakdown of bone and cartilage. One psychological disorder that is linked with the nervous system is Alzheimer’s disease. The term 'dementia' is used to describe the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by specific diseases and conditions. Individuals that suffer from the Alzheimer’s disease tend to forget or are unable to remember things that they have just done. Age is the greatest risk factor for dementia. Dementia affects one in 14 people over the age of 65 and one in six over the age of 80. However, Alzheimer's is not restricted to elderly people: in the UK, there are 15,000 people under the age of 65 with dementia, although this figure is likely to be an underestimate.Just like the rest of our bodies, our brains change as we age. Most of us notice some slowed thinking and occasional problems with remembering certain things. However, serious memory loss, confusion and other major changes in the way our minds work are not a normal part of ageing. They may be a sign that brain cells are failing.  The brain has 100 billion nerve cells. Each nerve cell communicates with many others to form networks. Nerve cell networks have special jobs. In Alzheimer’s disease, as in other types of dementia, increasing numbers of brain cells deteriorate and die. Eczema is an itchy inflammation of the skin associated to a varying degree with other features such as: redness of affected areas of skin. Generally dry skin which is often thickened in the areas that have been scratched and lumps or blisters in affected areas. There are three stages of eczema which include Acute eczema would therefore be an area that recently flared up and would be red, probably also have blisters and possibly some oozing or crusts . The second stage is called Chronic properly means long-standing. Once the initial phase of activity has died down a bit of skin that has been eczematous for a while is dry, scaly, thickened and cracked. At any stage of eczema it can become infected. This won’t always be obviously different from acute eczema unless there are pus-filled blisters.  There are many positive and negative outcomes of ageing and the impact it has on the individual.Majority of older people of 65 experience reasonable health, a high standard of living and a satisfactory social life. Minority are in poverty, poor health and isolation. Old age is like any other life stage because it is how your life is depends on your lifestyle. Associated with old age are problems such as retirement, bereavement and depression that can have a negative or a positive outcome. For some retirement can result in loss of income, contact with work colleagues and the loss of interest in life.  Many people that are retired have a low self-esteem about them and would not want to interact with the outside world. This might be because they might have a low income or the amount of money they are left with is too little to pay for the mortgage, bill and shopping. Less money can isolated individual from facing other people even their own family and friends; this can be because they are ashamed of having less money and not being able to enjoy their life. The individuals might feel as if they cannot live their life and spending. Bereavement can result in a range of changes; Losses include role changes, isolation, depression, loneliness, loss of friend and sexual partner and can cause temporary anxiety and depression. Learning for pleasure is one of the hobbies of the elderly. 51% of people between 60-69 take part in some form of learning. More free time means able to engage in social and mental activities. More free time allows time to be spent on activities such as walking and gardening.61% of people over 65 own their own home. Individuals who are 65+ have the highest levels of savings, leading to a high standard of living.

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