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Senior Citizens and their ageing problems

Updated on January 5, 2016
A Senior Citizen confiding and solving problems
A Senior Citizen confiding and solving problems | Source
An elderly women using a walking cane
An elderly women using a walking cane | Source
Elder care
Elder care | Source

Old Age

Old age is a natural process and each individual has to proceed with this process. When an individual grows older and older, he or she might need a helping hand. During this stage, an individual will not be able to sustain his/her mobility and independence. Many elderly people during this stage have no kin to turn to for assistance. It is very crucial that at this stage he or she requires assistance/backing and support from his family members or relatives in order to perform their daily activities and overcome their ongoing health challenges.

Old age can be defined as when a person becomes old. It can also be defined in another way, the final stage of normal life span in human beings. It is the ultimate stage in the life processes of an individual.

Symptoms of Mental Illness /Old age:

Quiet often old age draws us closer mostly with health related problems. Some of the signs of old age are mentioned below:

  • When the older adults are encountering /suffering from aches and pains. Notice that there will be a transformation or change in their behavior or mood. They appear to be sulky, bad-tempered or in a depressed mood.
  • Memory loss is yet another common and challenging problems of the geriatric population in the world over. A person fails to remember or recollect the names of the people with whom he/she interacts with or even failing to memorize activities that took place very recently.
  • When there is a sudden fall/drop in the way the older adults dress and take care of the home. They show no signs of interest in brushing, bathing and dressing neatly. The main factor for this decline might possible be they have lost confidence to manage on their own.
  • Another instance of old age is where a person is unable to make out or distinguish the exact taste or flavor in the food or if he/she has hurt severely and does not feel any burning sensation.
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of appetite in the older adults is a major concern. They become increasingly picky about the choice of foods. Dental problems could be one of the factor such as dental caries or absence of teeth. Indigestion or inability to procure foods of their liking is another reason for the loss of appetite.
  • Lack of mobility is one of the biggest challenge faced by the elderly. They are more vulnerable/liable to falls. With weak bones there are higher chances of risk to fractures and head injuries .
  • Loss of control over urine is another regular/frequent problem with the older adults. It is mainly due to stress incontinence or prostate. Lung Infection like Pneumonia might be another factor responsible for urinary incontinence.

Common Health issues faced by the elderly:

These are some of the common physical and mental illness found in the elderly:

  • Acute cognitive impairment(Dementia): Most common mental health issue found among the elderly is acute cognitive impairment which is particularly caused by Alzheimer's Disease. An individual finds trouble in learning and remembering new things, concentrating or making decisions that affect their everyday life.
  • Manifest signs of severe depression, anxiety and gloominess .
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Vascular Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Breathing problems
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Hearing Loss
  • Vision problems (cataract, glaucoma, Macular Degeneration)

Overcoming health issues in old aging:

These are some of the successful tips to overcome health issues in old age:

  • Follow and maintain healthy habits and positive life styles
  • Quit cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Maintain the triad of exercise, weight-bearing, aerobic, and balance activities.
  • Get regular health exams and test
  • Cultivate intellectual stimulization and socialization
  • Engage in social activities such as dancing
  • Build a healthy family relationship
  • Take part in challenging adult educational activities to revitalize your mind
  • Make practical and effective use of community support and local senior centers to overcome physical limitations like difficulty in walking and balancing problems.
  • Be sensible in financial planning such as management of assets and investments.

News report on elderly abuse:

The Press Trust of India reported on 17th of December 2015 that a 59-year-old Indranee Pumbien, an Indian origin home care owner based in UK was sentenced to 18 months in jail for elderly abuse. She was found guilty of imposing an elderly resident failing to pursue immediate assistance for a 99-year old women who was cauterized in a hot bath.

Caregiving for the elderly:

Family members are the bedrock of a stressed healthcare system: They should accomplish certain tasks to ensure long-term care of their elder adults in the following manner:

  • Observe symptoms and keep track of complex medication regimes.
  • Personal care assistance
  • Carry out housekeeping tasks
  • Provide guidance and support
  • Handle troublesome behaviors such as wandering, aggression and hallucinations
  • Administer financial planning

What are the problems faced by the elderly when they are not able to manage by themselves?

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    • hari87 profile image

      K HARISH RAMACHANDRAN 2 years ago from INDIA

      thanks a lot MsDora

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      You mentioned many of the problems of aging. As you mentioned, it is a natural process, so we must prepare for it as best we could, and also be willing to help those who need it. Good effort!