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 with age-related changes to physical and mental health so you can start to prepare for it now.
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.
Age-related changes: 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:
- Severe depression
- Poor judgment
- Memory problems
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.
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 age-related changes
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?