Analysis the Process of Ageing


The process of ageing afflicts every human being around the world with varied impact on the mental and physical health of the individual. This paper endeavours to study resources which highlight the spiritual, social, psychological, and physiological aspects associated with the process of ageing.

The utilized resources indicate the extent to which these factors impact the livelihood of the elderly. This paper will also highlight challenges which the elderly face in their day to day lives. In addition, this paper will evaluate various issues which elderly people encounter in relation to emotional, social, and health status.

Physiological Aspects of Ageing

The process of ageing involves complicated biochemical processes (Lata, & Alia, 2007). To comprehend how this process occurs, one needs to make out the difference between changes associated with disease and those caused by normal physiological aspects (Health in Site, 2012). Different individuals may undergo varied changes, some changes being more significant and dramatic than others. The physiological changes that set in with age include changes to cardiovascular system.

During the ageing process, there is atrophy of the muscles of the heart, particularly arterial loss of elasticity, heart valve calcification, and deposits in the arteries (atherosclerosis). Cardiac output is reduced as are automaticity of the SA node and sensitivity of the baroreceptor. On top of that, a reduction in the flow of blood causes decreased nourishment of cells, reduced hepatic and renal function, as well as decreased stamina. The response of blood pressure to heart blocks, volume depletion, and standing is also impaired (Health in Site, 2012). The process of ageing is also the cause of reduced renal and body energy capabilities.

Also, there is loss of lung tissue elasticity and thus lack of adequate oxygen delivery to the body tissues. The resources do not provide adequate information on the care for elderly people and the influence of this care. However, they provide a comprehensive analysis of the changes that occur within the bodies of the elderly people due to ageing.

The authors of the various sources discuss the pressures faced by this group psychologically. Ageing comes with stereotyping which is negative towards old people (Brett & Schofield, 2002). It causes old people to be grouped as one rather than as individuals, causing them to appear like a burden, financially parasitic, and noncontributing.

This leaves the elderly feeling lonely and isolated, which in turn leads to decreased interaction with their surrounding social environment. The resources, however, do not indicate how the elderly can tackle the issues of loneliness and isolation surrounding them in their environment. It does show how isolation from friends and family leads to psychological difficulties.

The ageing process has tremendous effects on the health of the elderly. Health challenges that arse in the elderly due to ageing call for health professionals’ care as they slow down the bodily functions making ageing and elderly people slower and more ponderous (Knight, 2000). Joints become stiff and painful due to cartilage damage caused by osteoarthritis. The body’s reduced vitamin metabolism capability leads to softening of bones which causes osteomalacia.

The source used does not address the interventions which can be utilized by the ageing and the elderly to overcome the various issues of health affecting them. However, the source makes it clear that exercise is vital in maintaining the activity of the group’s bodies. Lifestyle, according to the resource, is vital in bringing healthy bodily changes.

Ageing also brings about changes in the sensory faculties. Vision is the most commonly affected sensory faculty. This is due to a reduction in the pupil size, thus decreasing light entry into the eye after forty years (Knight 2000). As a result, aged people require at least three times as much illumination as younger people.

Ageing also brings with it a decrease in high frequency tone sensitivity and reduction in differentiation between similar pitches caused by bone and inner ear cochlear hair cell changes (Wallhagen Pettengil & Whiteside, 2006). Ageing also causes variation in smell and taste which are vital in hazard detection in the environment. Taste bud reduction and upper sinus receptor diseases cause these abnormalities. The utilized resource does not distinguish whether these problems are caused as a result of ageing or disease.

It does not give any advice on whether the elderly can care for their auditory abilities. The resource, however, does identify conversational difficulties caused by disabilities with hearing faculties which make it difficult to socialize, as well as how loss of vision capabilities impact driving, reading, and walking abilities of the elderly.

Ageing also brings about decrease in sexual performance and desire (Farley, McLafferty, & Hendry, 2010). In women, physiological changes leading to this include decreased vaginal fluid production and atrophy of the uterine, vaginal, and ovarian tissues.

Older couples generally need more stimulation for them to attain orgasm owing to reduced oestrogen and testosterone production in females and males respectively. A consequence of oestrogen loss in women is the loss of child bearing ability. The resource does not however give any information that provides insights into the consequences of these changes to the health of the elderly person.

Ageing also affects the gastrointestinal system via reduction of saliva, digestive enzymes, and HCL production (Blechman & Gelb, 1999). This causes delayed stomach emptying, impairment in swallowing, and distress of the GI system. Food breakdown, as well as absorption may be impaired which could result in vitamin K, B, and C deficiency, with malnutrition occurring in extreme cases.

It is however notable that the author does not provide any options for nutrition which could aid the digestion of food in their GI. The resource, however, is indicative of the effects caused by these changes to the rate of metabolism in the elderly, while encouraging individuals to take precautions vital in avoiding the problems.

Psychological aspects of Ageing

Ageing also causes changes in patterns of sleep due to compromised coordination of nerves (Quality Demand Care, 2012). The source used emphasizes that reduced productivity that aged people go through is caused by poor stimuli response. Elderly individuals are limited in their ability to master some strenuous tasks which earlier in their younger days was done with ease.

The resource highlights the elderly individual’s failure to attain a coherent sleeping pattern due in large part to ageing and provides the elderly with an opportunity to remedy these setbacks. However, the source does not provide a manner in which the elderly can respond better to stimuli via health practices that aid in nerve repair.

Ageing also affects the personality of the elderly individual which causes them to be more focused on their internal world rather than those influences which are in existence in their environment (Age UK, 2012).

This causes the aged individual to become more expressive and nurturing as they look toward increased affiliation with activities involving their network of acquaintances and family. The resource connects improved relationships and personality changes within the environment in which the ageing individual resides. The resource does not adequately discuss the consequences, whether good or bad, which the elderly undergo during the ageing process.

The process of ageing also increases anxiety attacks which are suspected to be as a result of environmental issues which are detrimental to them (Age UK, 2012). Aged and ageing individuals are prone to apprehension and fear with reference to poor health, souring relationships with their neighbours, future uncertainties, and income loss.

The elderly can thus suffer from increasing aggressive behaviour especially towards members of their social circle through outbursts of emotions both verbally and physically. This resource does manage to highlight the various changes behaviour wise which an elderly individual could go through, although it does fall short on provision of information concerning therapies which the aged and ageing individuals can utilize to better manage the magnified aggression and anxiety levels.

The elderly have a more pronounced reaction to bereavement and grief as compared to other age groups (Cutcliffe, 2002). Exposure to the fact of living life by themselves in the absence of a partner with whom they had shared numerous memories and moments causes a distinct reaction from the elderly.

There is a presumption that this causes the elderly to feel more isolated from environmental social bonds in their surroundings. Cutcliffe (2002) manages to provide insights into how these feelings of bereavement and grief could adversely affect the ageing individual’s mind state which then results in increased stress, as well as providing information on how stress is a precursor of activity withdrawal. However, he fails to address ways via which elderly individuals can deal with the relevant issues while remaining psychologically fit.

Depression is another common psychological issue which affects the elderly. This age group goes through numerous psychological problems which bring about the possibility of stressful factors whose neglect could be a cause of depression. The elderly will at times have the experience of feeling useless to their friend network and family (RISEN, 2012). RISEN eases the comprehension of stress in this age group and also the need for preparation for this predicament. RISEN, however, fails to indicate how this age group can handle depression or deal with the situations causing stress.

Finally, Quality Dementia Care (2012) focuses on the numerous problems which this age group faces with regard to memory retention resulting from dementia. Elderly individuals are more susceptible to loss of memory as they age and normally are handicapped in learning fresh ideas and concepts.

The ability of elderly brains to collect fresh information, as well as gain access to the information stored in the mind earlier (Quality Dementia Care, 2012). The resource provides information on how the process of ageing may result in the elderly individual’s inability to recall happenings, activities, and events. It however does not give ways to ensure the retention of strong based memories to avoid deficiencies in memory as they get older.

Social aspects of Ageing

The body of the elderly person is impacted by extra physiological and physical factors resulting from the activities in which they are involved (Promoting Successful Ageing, 2012). The individual’s needs nutritionally, communal affairs contribution, and physical workouts are affected by various social changes experienced by the elderly in their respective environments.

The resource highlights with clarity the lifestyle faced by this age group which is quite varied from that faced earlier in their life, and the importance of adjusting to the variations. It however fails to give alternatives that deal with how the elderly can cope up with the inactivity on ageing.

Ageing also impacts how the elderly approach the ageing process by looking at the rewards of their life and with added positive vibe as far as self esteem is concerned (Ouwehand, Deridder, & Bensing, 2007). While the resource highlights the role, lifestyles, and relationships of the elderly and how they can create increased meaning if one engages in improved self assessment, it fails to account for the hard facts which could greatly influence the aged person’s self morale.

Old age brings comes with a better understanding and eventual preparation for death (Ryff & Marshall, 1999). Deaths suffered by the individual’s age mates broadens their perspective of death and makes them accept its possibility and inevitability, which in turn gives more reward and meaning to their later years. It is therefore of utmost importance that the elderly possess a greater comprehension of death, as well as the inevitability of ageing and the acceptance of changes inherently coupled to ageing to age with grace.

They must reconnect with their community to give their lives greater meaning and reward. This resource enables the elderly to identify what they value in life. This also assists them attain satisfaction in life. However, the resource generalizes the issue of readiness for death without going deeper into the perceptions held by the various individuals.

Security and general welfare of the elderly are of importance during the ageing process (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2005). This age group is vulnerable to risks emanating from retirement and financial duress and gives added emphasis to possession of immaculate retirement planning. The process of ageing aids the elderly to gain more awareness as to the vital importance of savings as well as pension schemes which will give them a hassle deficient sunset.

Ageing is also a process that leaves the individual prone to criminal cons and victims of swindles as well as several other exploitative activities. This resource cautions the aged and ageing on the explicit need to put their financial and security house in order before retirement and to be watchful, or even involve a lawyer, in their investment dealings. It does not, however, give any proposals as to how the individual can guarantee financial and personal security during their working years.

Sedentary lifestyles are a huge contributing factor to accelerated ageing which exposes the individual to ageing related health problems (Department of Health and Ageing, 2008). Physical workouts in old age thus take on an extra dimension. Old people have their reservations with regard to exercise even with all the proven benefits.

The resource pinpoints the additive impact which an elderly person may get from participating in physical workouts and how this could lead to the reduction of old age onset stress. However, it fails to elucidate how the exercise is supposed to be conducted and how this can have increased enjoyable value.

Spiritual Aspect of Ageing

Spiritual understanding of ageing aids the elderly in attaining a more elaborate understanding of what they as individuals have stood for in their life (Daaleman & Frey, 2004). Elderly people are more prone to reminiscing on their memories and those moments in their life that have had the greatest meaning.

These memories create a feeling of nostalgia in them. The resource encourages the elderly to accept their position and who they have turned out to be in life as dictated by their activities. The resource is however shallow on the feelings of the individual who is devoid of spiritual undertones, being too simplistic in assuming that all elderly people have spiritual backgrounds. It also falls short in addressing the spiritual aspects quantification since these values vary from one individual to the other.

Ageing also affects the individual’s spiritual character. However, this is influenced by the person’s values and background and what the particular individual stands for (Sherman, 2005). In this case, it goes past the conventional meaning of spirituality as defined by organized forms of religion found in majority of societies on earth. Spiritualism, when viewed from the perspective of health care, deals with individual comprehension as internalized by the elderly individual and his strong and important values.

This also includes how strongly he feels about the environment within which he is interred. The resource utilized manages to bring out the best manner in which to observe the beliefs of the elderly individual and how they should be catered for during health care provision. The resource is, however, vague on the best practice for this to be utilized in within the setup of healthcare while taking into consideration that the system of health care is complex in its operations.

During the ageing process, religious and spiritual care can be given to the ageing and the aged who are afflicted by terminal conditions which aid the individual in reducing pain during the duration of the condition (Anandarajah & Hight, 2001). The elderly should therefore be offered the chance to look back on their life and its purpose during palliative care.

This should respect their background both religiously and culturally. The elderly person is thus allowed to comprehend the surrounding environmental issues from a perspective that they believe to be higher and superior to theirs. This belief is transcendent of the individual’s physical state at the particular time.

This higher and more enlightened perspective with which the elderly individual interprets his life and its issues is consistent with a supernatural power that influences their consciousness as well as being incomparable to any other source of enlightenment. The resource highlights just how vital it is to include religious and spiritual principles during palliative care, although it fails to give any therapies that can be utilized as alternatives to patients whose religious and spiritual basis is lacking.

Challenges that the elderly face generates the required motivation from which they can get inspiration owing to their past experiences, both positive and negative (NIH, 2012). Physical pain from ailments and illnesses, terminal or chronic, can be overcome by mental strength acquired from the inspiration drawn from experience.

Cultural symbolism and spiritualism can be used in palliative care to offer efficient remedies from pain and stress. The resource is notable for its highlighting of the vitality of cultural and spiritual consciousness which is a contributing factor for elderly individuals facing difficult situations. It however fails to mention the aspects of spirituality that can be inducted into palliative care and therapy catering for the ageing and the aged.


The process of ageing afflicts every human being around the world with varied impact on the mental and physical health of the individual. The process of ageing involves complicated biochemical processes. To comprehend how this process occurs, one needs to make out the difference between changes associated with disease and those caused by normal physiological aspects (Health in Site, 2012).

Different individuals may undergo varied changes, some changes being more significant and dramatic than others. Ageing as a process is complex and difficult to deal owing to the drastic changes that one goes through psychologically, physiologically, spiritually, and socially (Heart of Healing, 2012). It offers the individual who is ageing an opportunity to reflect on their life and how the future will judge them.

The elderly are prone to frailty in their capabilities both physiologically and psychologically, although their inner strength acts as a source of inspiration depending on their life experiences. In all this, they can rely on spiritual and social bedrocks which enable them to look back constructively on their life’s journey. This paper has learnt from the various resources that have been discussed that the ageing process encompasses spiritual, social, psychological, and physiological aspects of life.


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