Many changes happen to an older person’s body as they age. Internal and external changes bring about fresh challenges to staying healthy. The physiological changes include gastrointestinal changes, muscular and skeletal system changes, as well as changes in organs. Along with these issues, senses begin to diminish. Everyday tasks become increasingly more difficult. Simply moving around during daily routines becomes difficult with age. These changes can cause secondary health problems. For instance, the sense of taste begins to wane and the ability to taste salty foods lessens. In order to compensate, more salt is added to the diet. This can contribute to, or exacerbate, a pre existing high blood pressure condition.
Changes to the gastrointestinal system can seriously affect the overall body of an older adult. Reduced saliva and imbalanced stomach acid contribute to dehydration and bowel problems. Ulcers can result from the imbalanced stomach acid and limited movement. Sometimes these can become bad enough that surgery is necessary. Then, the person is exposed to a higher susceptibility of alternate infections and secondary problems.
Decreased muscle mass causes a lack of physical strength and endurance. Overall body composition begins to change in the older adult. Fat in the body increases as muscle mass decreases. Joints stiffen as glucosamine is lost. Ligaments between bones loosen. When an older person tries to walk, just as they did before, they can likely have a fall. This can lead to broken bones.
Within the body’s organ system, plaque begins to build up in arterial walls. Increased blood pressure causes the heart to work harder. This is one explanation for the decreased energy and stamina in older adults. With decreased circulation comes a lack of oxygen throughout the entire body system. Dry skin and general forgetfulness becomes common in the older adult.
Cognitive decline begins to happen along with the physical...