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Old Age: The Real Truth about Physical and Mental Changes

old age

Human life has five stages: infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Each of these stages has its unique challenges. Below are the top problems in old age that many people face. Here’s what you might expect down the road so you can start to prepare for it.

Physical Decline

The first challenge of old age is a decline in physical abilities. After many years of hard physical work, the body begins to show signs of slowing down and less strength than before.

Some signs of physiological decline with old age are:

  • Loss of teeth
  • Sagging skin
  • A smaller jaw
  • Facial wrinkles
  • Baggy eyelids

The skin loses elasticity naturally as we age. There is less elastin in the skin of seniors than younger people, which explains loose skin. Gravity then causes the droopy eyelids and generally sagging skin.

Also, veins can start to show prominently. And the elderly are generally have a higher risk of accidents than youngsters because of the slow reaction time.

Psychological Concerns

Another quality of old age is a mental decline, which increases the risk of psychological disorders. Two common elderly issues are senile dementia and psychosis with cerebral arteriosclerosis.

Senile dementia involves cerebral atrophy and degeneration. Cerebral arteriosclerosis, meanwhile, includes the blockage or rupture of cerebral arteries. These two conditions can have adverse effects, such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Severe depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Poor judgment
  • Disorientation
  • Memory problems

Emotional Issues

The two main causes of emotional problems in old age are the feeling of deprivation and the loss of a spouse. The feeling of deprivation mainly comes from the loss of control. In old age, you likely find yourself giving up control and becoming more dependent on caregivers, whether it be loved ones or a home care worker, for physical support.

With the loss of judgment and waning trust in your abilities, you gradually get more dependent on others than in earlier years. Often, this leads to a situation where you have to listen to and take orders from younger people, something that can cause a feeling of helplessness and lack of importance or power. Losing a spouse can worsen emotional problems.

Social Challenges

People in old age also have many social challenges. For example, your social network narrows as you lose work associates, friends, and relatives to distance and death. Bad health also limits participation in social activities, making life even harder. Over time, social isolation can cause or worsen health problems, such as depression. So it’s important to embrace ways to reduce loneliness.

Financial Problems in Old Age

Older adults also often face financial issues. Retirement itself creates serious financial constraints due to the loss of income. Even if you get a pension, the money is usually not enough to meet the ever-rising costs of living.

Furthermore, low income in many cases reverses roles for once-powerful men and women; from chief breadwinner, they now become dependent on their kids or government-run programs for monetary assistance. And if there are any extra responsibilities, such as paying grandkids’ school fees and funding children’s marriages, on top of your health-related expenses, it can wipe clean your bank account. While organizations like the Entrust Group makes your retirement simpler, you may still feel that there’s a big weight on your shoulders.

Start Planning Now for Old Age

The reality is that old age is inevitable and most of the challenges of that later stage of life await us all. However, health and wealth planning, if done from an early age, can make a huge difference.

Do these senior struggles sound familiar? What are some ways to avoid financial problems later on in life?

21 thoughts on “Old Age: The Real Truth about Physical and Mental Changes”

  1. If we are getting older that means we are lucky enough to be alive and we are all getting older together. Age should not stop us from setting goals and working to achieve them. I set a goal 12 months ago to do a chin up at the gym and I’ve finally been able to do one by myself. As a 63 year old woman being strong and active really helps to improve mood and wellbeing.

  2. An incredibly useful post. Thank you.

    My father in-law is 80 but a young 80, I call him. He has a curious mind, he loves to exercise and he is active in his church. I have a feeling he planned all of this a long time ago.

    For me he is the prime example of where I want to be.

  3. What a great post. I want to be like my parents and grandparents. Be frugal with everyday things, but make time and money for traveling and memories. My parents are now retired, both in their mid-60s, and I’ve never seen them happier.

  4. SIGH! It’s all true, and it’s all rats!
    We did not make up life, and we can’t change the reality.
    Live every day to its fullest, or as Janis sang, Get It While You Can.

  5. One of the best ways to plan for growing old is to ignore our youth obsessed culture. Aging is natural, and if we’re not interacting with senior relatives and being compassionate with ourselves too, it will be difficult to adjust to our changing bodies and minds. Great post!

    1. I love what you say about embracing natural aging rather than trying to be forever youthful-looking, Mary Jo. I find that people sometimes focus only on their appearance and that has made for a shallow experience for me as their friend.

  6. The article is so timely as if you can read our minds. We do calculations, especially in December each year to check if we are saving enough for retirement. It is never enough. Present times always consume us. Your post reminds us to plan ahead.

    1. That’s wonderful that you assess finances annually as the New Year comes round again, my friend. I have no doubt that you have all the makings for an enjoyable retirement ahead :)

    1. Yes, hopefully by learning what to expect in old age, both in terms of physical and mental health, we can do our best to enjoy those golden years. I wish you a beautiful day, Richa!

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