Factors Influencing Ageing

Robyn Kiff. Dementia & Elderly Care. Task 3. Unit 28 - P1 P2

There are lots of factors that influence the ageing of someone. This can range from the lifestyle living conditions to family and friends. Living conditions and lifestyle all depends on your financial status which is another factor that influences ageing. If someone does live in a care home or has a long term stay in a hospital the quality of care that is provided to them is very important. The improvements in healthcare are another factor that influences the ageing process.

Older Age

Erik Erikson is a psychologist that helps to describe the the stages of development through the stages of life. The first stage is infancy from birth to 18 months. This stage is where the child begins to trust others, and learn to find love and affection. This is really important and can be built up during the time of feeding.

The second stage is early childhood at the age of 18 months to 3 years. At this stage in life the child is being toilet trained and develop a sense of independence, but also shame and doubt.

The third stage is preschool from the age 3 to 5 years. This stage is where they explore their power with the independence they have gained. But when their power exceeds the limits, they begin to regret it and become feeling guilty.

The fourth stage is school age from 6 to 11 years. This is when they are at school, and try new skills within social and academic aspects. This is an ongoing aspect that grows over the years and builds upon.

The fifth stage is adolescence. This is from 12 to 18 years where they are involved in social relationships as they are able to find themselves but also go through confusion along the way.

The sixth stage is young adulthood. This is from 19 to 40 years old where there are strong relationships between people, but they also experience loneliness and isolation.

The seventh stage is middle adulthood at 40 to 65 where there is a focus on parenthood and their jobs. It’s where they feel accomplished by having children or failing in the world.

The eighth stage is maturity. This is from 65 to death where they are reflecting on their life with the feeling of fulfilment and also regret and bitterness from not doing the things that they wanted to do. This is the stage of wisdom.

All of these stages are what Erik Erikson has decided upon and described.

Lifestyle

There are many people that have a poor lifestyle either by choice of by chance. There are many that choose to smoke and drink alcohol which has been proven to shorten the lifespan. Also those who choose to eat a lot of food are at risk of obesity and having a heart attack. If you smoke it damages your lungs and affects your breathing. If the breathing becomes weak then it will influence the age that you die at, because if affects your the oxygen levels in the blood. This means that you would age quicker, and potentially can age you faster causing death.


Being overweight or obese usually if caused by too much of the wrong food and not enough exercise. If you want to eat the bad things, then it should be compensated by with exercise. It makes you happy to exercise, and keeps you fit. If your lifestyle consists of no exercise and a bad diet such as junk food then you’re more likely to have health problems such as a heart attack causing a possibility of death.

Living conditions

Living conditions can be anything from the environment where you live, to who you spend your time with. Someone that lives in a poluted country such as China will age quicker due to the pollutants than someone in Canada. If you live in a nice sheltered home where there is heating and hot water, you will age slower than someone who is in poor accommodation with very little shelter and no heating or warm clothes. This is because in better conditions you are preserving your health as your body is being looked after better. Another living condition that influences ageing is the people you spend your time with. If you are around those that make you happy such as family and friends you become healthier as you won’t be under too much stress. Whereas if you were with those who made you stressed or treated you badly so you became angry, you would be burning your body down being unable to cope, therefore this would affect your ageing process.

Social isolation

This is a lack of contact with many things such as people and society. This can be a big part in the life of the elderly as they find it hard to get out and about, and others may not visit them. This can be no contact with those such as carers or a shop assistance to friends and family. Those who are socially isolated are more at risk of ageing quicker than those who aren't as they become unhappy and lonely.


Bereavement

When you grieve for someone then you are usually unhappy. This process can go on for a long time. When you are older, this can be very hard for you. Sometimes those who are very close you can pass away, and they will still have to carry on their life. Sometimes if a wife/husband passes away, it is very difficult for that person to get back on track as they are grieving. This can affect their ageing as they aren't able to be happy, and feeling stressed and empty.

Changes in later life

When you grow older there are many changes as you get older. This covers physical changes such as balance and mobility, also vision, hearing, and cognitive changes all happen later on in life. As you grow older you deteriorate and the muscles become weaker and the physical changes become more noticeable. General moving around becomes difficult and balancing becomes very hard. For example picking something up off the floor is a very difficult task, as when you bend over, the balance goes and they would fall over. Also wearing glasses is very common in those who are older as the vision declines resulting in it being very difficult to do everyday tasks. If you are unable to see, then moving around is very difficult. Especially if mobility is deteriorating too. Hearing loss is very common in those who are elderly. Frequently this is due to a lot of noise pollution during their life. There are hearing aids that they wear to help them, and let them be able to hear better. Also their brain wastes away and illnesses like dementia happen. This is a cognitive change as well as losing their memory and not being able to do things they did before.

Diseases

A disease is something that produces symptoms caused by the structure of functions in the body to change. Diseases in the elderly are usually age-related. This is a factor that influences ageing as these diseases will deteriorate their well being. Examples of some of these diseases are: Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Osteoporosis, Muscular Degeneration, and Emphysema. Dementia is a brain injury that can be caused by many things, it changes the victim by causing personality changes, disruption their short and long term memory, and doesn't allow them to reason with anyone logistically. Alzheimer’s disease is another disease that involves deterioration of the brain. This is when the brain to deform and causes the patient symptoms such as forgetting conversation and asking the same questions. It can also cause speech problems. This is harder as you get older, therefore influencing aging as it will speed up ageing. Emphysema is a disease in the lungs. This is caused by pollution in the lungs such as smoking. It is when the body produces too much mucus and a cough will be persistent. The coughing scars the tissue in the lungs and makes it harder to get oxygen into the lungs, therefore less oxygen in the body. This influences ageing as the longer you have no oxygen to the body the quicker the tissues begin to deteriorate, and makes it harder to do activities to stay healthy.