September 4, 2010
Human Lifespan Development
The transformation that takes place throughout one’s life is inevitable. The growth and development of becoming an adult forces many body and mind changes. Physical appearance, mental capability and other issues all take place in our later adult years. All of these changes happen at different times for everyone. Nobody ages at the same rate. Aging is impossible to run away from but millions of people spend countless dollars to slow the aging process. The biggest notable changes occur between the ages of 50 and 60. Some physical changes can be postponed by frequent medical visits with a doctor.
Most in the prime of their lives do everything one can to lead a healthy lifestyle. As we grow older, we have a tendency to stop being careful with what we eat. Our diets go by the wayside and in turn, our physical health suffers. When an elderly person stops eating healthy, he or she begins to become malnourished. Several factors of malnourishment are the teeth become weak and may even begin to fall out. The mind is not as strong and virulent as the body is suffering huge vitamin deficiencies because of the lack of proper diet. Due to the teeth being less strong, an elderly may have to resort to soft foods that will encourage the malnutrition. A study conducted on eating and the elderly showed signs that the social factors involved with the elderly have a very large role in how much and what an aging adult eats. “We have demonstrated that meals eaten with other people are 46% larger than meals eaten alone, and the more people present at the meal, the more will be eaten” (de Castro, p. 1). Exercise along with healthy eating also plays an important role in the aging process. “The inactive older adult – a large proportion of the population – has an increased burden of chronic conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle that continues to rise steadily. Although, the health status of older adults varies from individual to individual, a strong association between functional ability and regular physical activity exists” (Sawyer, Castaneda-Sceppa, pg. 2). I sat down with my elderly grandparents, and asked them what they thought about the effects of aging. My grandmother has lived a very sedentary life always making up excuses to avoid exercise. My 85-year-old grandfather, on the other hand, walks an average of one mile every day. My grandmother has many health problems and I believe this is due to her sedentary lifestyle. My grandfather has had medical problems but all related to his farming background. Rotator cuffs needing to be replaced and heart bypass surgery because of his bad eating habits growing up. There have been no major health problems for him like with my grandmother. Many elderly are left alone and this also leads to depression and feelings of abandonment. As
aging progresses, the mental psyche is not what it once was. The memory begins to fade, long
and short-term memory is also affected. When we are young, we remember everything from
someone’s age to phone numbers, license plate numbers, and all sorts of other small details. As
our brain ages, it loses some of the ability to retain information. Blood flow decreases over time
as our brain loses volume. According to the American Psychological Association, “Episodic
memory, which captures the “what,” “where,” and “when” of our daily lives, is to blame. Both
episodic and longer term memory decline somewhat over time”
Mortality is also often thought about as aging takes place. When young, most believe that
invincibility is at the fingertips. As aging occurs, one can begin to evaluate life choices and
with the physical changes of aging, makes seeing death inevitable. People who have
faith in God allows them not to be...