Factors which influence aging

Becca Mason

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What is Aging?

It is a series of processes that begin with life and continue throughout the life cycle. This is also closely linked to Erikson's stages of psychological development. This is the eight different stages which the human development should pass from infancy to late adulthood. In each stage the individual confronts, and hopefully masters new challenges. It represents the closing period in the lifespan, as the individual has become frail due to old age. This means the individual is at high risk to falls, disabilities, hospitalization and mortality. The individual looks back on life, lives on past accomplishments and begins to finish off their life course. Most elder individuals suffer financially, because they have retired and therefore can't afford for prescriptions, eye and dentist check ups, so the government pay for those who are over 60, to ensure their health is in good condition. Also, if individuals can't drive to get to these check ups, and to pick prescriptions up, they offer free delivery services for those who are immobilized.

Social isolation can influence aging. Those who are elder, they face greater risks of health. Individuals who lack from social connections, or report frequent feelings of loneliness, can suffer from higher risks of mortality. Social isolation can affect individuals to become depressed or anxious this is due to the lack of close family ties and reduced connections in relation to their culture of origin, which results in an inability to actively participate in community activities. There are strong indications that depression increases the risk of death, which is mostly caused by unnatural causes and cardiovascular disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3016701/

Socio-economic factors can influence aging. This includes: income, education and environment can also influence health.

Older people generally have lower incomes than their younger counterparts, with woman who are unattached. For example divorce or bereavement therefore the individual is particularly vulnerable to poverty. Furthermore this can lead to financial concerns because most elderly individuals will not have a private pension fund. Therefore theses individuals may have concerns when paying for heating, shopping and coping financially.

Lifestyle could be another factor of aging. This is because if the individual smoked during their life, this can shorten their life spam. Smoking can harden and narrow the arteries causing high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. Also if the individual doesn't have a healthy diet and doesn't do much physical activity, it can influence ageing. Also if the individual has previously smoked in their years, it can increase the risk of Emphysema. This is caused by smoking, which causes the lungs to produce chemicals that damage the walls of the air sacs. This results in the amount of oxygen has decreased in the blood. http://bobchoat.com/2014/02/09/how-your-lifestyle-affects-your-health-and-aging/ (Health and social care book, level 3, page 164)

Living conditions, for example weather, noise, work and family can increase the speed of the aging process. For example if a individual lives in a environment where they are constantly exposed to direct sunlight, it can be harmful. This is because sun exposure causes your skin to age prematurely, as it can cause deep set wrinkles and fine lines on the face. For this reason it can have an obvious affect physically on the individual, but negative living conditions can also affect mental aging.

Therefore the reduction in harmful working practices can help the individual, by supporting them. They do this by working for realistic goals, and enables the individuals to be in a better position, by making choices and decisions. In a health and social care setting, this could be used for individuals who have very few connections with others and isolates themselves. They can support individuals by going to their home, taking them to support groups and using therapies to rebuild social support networks. For example, re-connecting the older adults with willing family members, with the use of peer groups and self help organizations. http://www.livestrong.com/article/344352-issues-that-affect-aging/ http://www.agingincanada.ca/Best_3.pdf

Parents may also be affected by ageing. This is because parents may feel mentally exhausted from all their duties in order to look after their children. Mothers may feel stressed, which can further lead to physical appearances on aging.


Ageing can further result in general reduction and shrinkage of skeletal muscles. The loss of muscle usually starts after the age of 40. This can be contributed by lack of exercise, although it can still occur on individuals who enjoy a healthy diet. This can lead to Arthritis, as it can damage the joints in the human body. The cartilage can become thinner in age, and becomes less elastic and thinner. Individuals who have immobility may suffer from stiffness and pain when they move their hips or knees. Therefore this can further lead to Osteoporosis, as the bones are becoming more fractured, and the bones are becoming much thinner and weaker. (Health and social care level 3 book, page 166)

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