Elderly: Definition and What Happens with Their Body?

Definition of elderly. Elderly is a human who has entered the age of 60 years. According to World Health Organization (WHO), the elderly are divided into three criteria, that is: Elderly (64-74 years), Older (75-90 years), and Very Old (> 90 years).

Based on the Erickson theory, the late years phase (age> 65 years) Elderly can be divided into two categories:
  • The first category is the elderly who have high integrity and idealism steady. In the first category, these elderly have high integrity so it tends to be the advisor / protector / elders and share their experiences with others. Their integrity clear spawned a steady idealism that can humble those who have disappointed idealism
  • The second category is the elderly who have failure and confusion with a value. In the two categories, namely the elderly who experience failure. Sometimes their failures cause they are afraid to grow old. Their nostalgi in the past they had not so imprint in their hearts so that they feel life is useless because it can not give any meaningful sense to others and tend to despair. This is what often ends with elderly depression.

Aging process

The human body is aging less than 1% per year. Although fresh physical, will age well. Fortunately those good physical freshness, the slower the aging process. When a person becomes fresher physical, then the body will function better.

The process of aging is an issue that will always be faced by all human beings. In the human body having structural changes which is a degenerative process. For example, the cells are shrink, the number of cells is reduced, a change in the content or composition of cells, the formation of new connective tissue substitutes cells that are disappear or shrink with the consequent decline of organ function

What happens to the human body in this aging process? In summary it can be said:
  • The skin may become thinner, dry and no longer elastic.
  • Loss of hair color changed to white, dry and not shiny.
  • The amount of muscle is reduced, the size is also shrinking, shrinking overall muscle volume and decreased function.
  • Heart muscles undergo degenerative changes, heart size decreases, the strength to pump blood is reduced.
  • Blood vessel stiffness (Arteriosclerosis)
  • The degeneration of mucous membranes and vibrating feathers of respiratory tract, bubbles' lungs become less elastic.
  • The bones become brittle (osteoporosis).
  • Due to degeneration in the joints, the surfaces of cartilage becomes rough. 
  • Because degeneration of the number of nephrons (the functional units of the kidney in charge of cleaning the blood) decreased. Which resulted in the ability to release of metabolic waste through urine is reduced as well.
  • The process of aging is considered as a physiological event that had to be experienced by all living beings.

Until now, not known with certainty the cause of the aging process. Experts suspect because of the free-radical compounds, arteriosklerosis and lack of physical activity, the aging process is a challenge that must be handle because as defined by the process of deterioration and decreased work performance of physical capacity from someone. As a result, the elderly are less productive, susceptible to disease, and dependence on others. 

By continuing to work and do regular exercise can slow down the process of deterioration and loss of capacity as mentioned above. Due to work and exercise is basically concerned with the activity of the musculoskeletal system (muscles and bones) and cardiopulmonary system (heart and lungs).

According to Brooks and Fahey, setbacks functioning of organs due to the aging process seen in:

Cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels)
  • One push of volume decreased to cause a decrease in stroke volume and cardiac.
  • Elasticity of Blood vessel decreases, causing an increase in prisoners periper and increased blood pressure.
  • Sino-atrial node sympathetic stimulation decreases, causing a decrease in maximal heart rate.

  • Decreased lung elasticity so that breathing has to work harder and flower deflated lung was not optimal.
  • Decreased lung capillaries so that the ventilation also decreases.
  • Muscles and tissue
  • The number of motor units decreased
  • The number of mitochondria decreases so will reduce the capacity of the respiratory muscles and eases the fatigue, because the function of mitochondria is to produce adenosine triphospat (ATP).
  • Stiffness of Tissue and muscle, causing the decline in stability and mobility.

  • Decreased of bone mineral that occurs will increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
  • Increased of body fat. This causes the movement becomes sluggish and increase the risk of disease.
  • Kyphosis
  • Height is lowered.
Thus the explanation of the meaning of elderly and the aging process would occur in every people.

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