Task 3 - Factors of ageing.

By Aisha Small.

What are the factors of ageing?

Ageing is the process of getting older, it notices the changes in a person over time. Ageing is an important part of biology, and therefore can't be helped. Some of the factors that play a part in ageing that I have decided to look at are living conditions, bereavement, lifestyle and social isolation.

Factors of ageing.

Living conditions.

Various living conditions can affect an individuals health and well-being. If the home or environment they live in is cold, damp and mouldy they could potentially develop symptoms and an illness such as respiratory/cardiovascular disease, asthma, arthritis etc. The illness could increase with the level of dampness therefore in the winter this could result in more deaths caused from the conditions or exposure to the cold. With circulatory diseases they can lead to strokes, heart attacks or respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis or pneumonia. If the living condition is poorly ventilated homes would increase in the amount of mould or fungal growths from dampness or high humidity and could potentially cause dust mites.

These airborne pollutants could trigger allergic symptoms such as conjunctivitis, eczema or coughing and wheezing. Also the individual could have problems to deal with such as anxiety and depression, this is because it could increase with the number of housing problems that people face.


Bereavement means "to rob". The word "grieving" refers to the psychological component of bereavement, this is the feelings a human being has when a loved person dies. In coming to terms of death to an individual involves many feelings, some of these can be denial, isolation, anger, deep sadness, loss, emptiness and depression, these are all normal to experience. Each person grieves in their own way and every bereavement has its own process.

A bereaved person might alternate between denial, anger, sadness, fear and guilt many times of the day. Bereavement is experiences on the individuals personality and the way they respond to a crisis or loss, circumstances of the death, relationship they had and attitudes and beliefs towards the death in general. It can also depend on how much other stress an individual may have in their life at the time. Bereavement can cause physical effects to an individual such as weight loss, lack of concentration and sleep disturbance. They may begin to experience a loss of memory, loss of self-esteem and identity. They could begin to neglect their appearance for a time and feel that nothing matters to them any more, all of these are normal reactions and could be helpful to talk to others on what is being felt.

Friends, family, health care workers, religious leaders, university staff, all may be able to offer support until life begins to make sense again.


In an individuals life there will come a point where they feel that they are ready to retire, however this may not be the same for everyone. If someone enjoyed working or their career it could be a major part of their life. Due to this it can go on to affect the social aspect of their life if their job provided them with friendships, their sens of self-worth and self-esteem if they felt they were valued at work and their financial security.

However this can also begin to be a busy phase for an individuals life because their friends and family can have plans for their time, such as little tasks that can benefit them such as DIY skills. It can also be a chance for them to learn new activities or new skills and do things they have always wanted to do but never had the time to do.

Social isolation.

Social isolation can be a risk of health and well-being among older people, it can also include loneliness and social exclusion too. This affects health and well-being including mental health because it causes risk of maltreatment and the risk of emergency admissions. These can be to hospitals for conditions that can't be avoided such as severe dehydration or malnutrition, however in all countries women have a higher risk of social isolation than older men.

Depression in older people usually goes not diagnosed, those who are over 65 are 2-15% likely to be depressed. Mental health support, including preventive action, is a vital, often neglected, aspect of medical and social attention to older people.

Websites used to gather information: