Aging: Know What Is Normal And What Is Not?

When a person starts aging, the body goes through many changes. It is important that you should be able to distinguish between what is normal and what is not. Some vital signs like the heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and breathing tend to change.

Knowing what old age entails is a great way to take care of yourself or a loved one who may be growing old. Observing and noticing certain symptoms will help you take action at the right time and seek treatment if needed. Listed below are some important points.

Appearance of a Person during Aging

Aging

One of the most common ways to tell whether someone has aged is through their physical appearance. But, these changes can be harder to spot for people who visit the elderly regularly or live in the same house. In that case, one should compare their appearance to how it was a few months ago.

Visible signs like skin pigmentation, weight gain or loss, or pale or peaked skin usually help in noticing that the person is aging. Although skin pigmentation and hair loss is normal, sudden changes in hair density or pigmentation can be causes of some underlying disease.

Some other symptoms that do not require as much care but, are noticeable are shallow breathing and drop in body temperature.

Behavior of a Person During Aging

Aging can cause some hormonal changes in the body too. However, severe mood swings are something to watch out for as it could be a sign of depression. In this case, the person may need care and attention and maybe some prescribed medicine. Sometimes, this could also be a sign that your loved one may be developing Alzheimer’s disease or some dementia disorder.

One of the common symptoms seen in patients of dementia is that the individual gets tired by afternoon or even early noon. This is accompanied by behavioral outbursts, which is known as ‘sundowning.’ Other symptoms like laughing at inappropriate moments or bursting into tears might also point towards dementia. It is best to schedule an appointment with your doctor and get it checked out.

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Abilities

Changes in abilities can be observed much like appearance. Some symptoms like limited flexibility can be a sign of aging. However, joint pain or over-restricted movement can be due to Parkinson’s disease or even Arthritis. This can affect a person’s ability to perform menial daily tasks like opening jars, going to the toilet or cooking. With the help of medicine and physical therapy, mobility can be increased and the pain is often reduced.

Symptoms of Aging

Each person ages differently. Some may be older but, can be in good health while others struggle with small tasks. Some normal signs of aging are as following

  • Increased risk of hypothermia or stroke.
  • A slight decrease in height as the spines get thinner with age and cause people to bend.
  • Increased chances of catching an infection.
  • Bones tend to be more fragile and can break easily.
  • Joints may become stiff from arthritis.
  • A decrease in the level of energy and the will to do certain tasks.
  • Inability to hold urine for long.
  • Limited movement.
  • Difficulty to balance without support.
  • Reduced reflexes.
  • Decreased visual acuity.
  • Hearing loss to some extent.
  • Sagging and wrinkling of the skin.
  • Graying hair.
  • Skin becomes pale.

Helpful Tips

Aging is inevitable. It is best to accept it with open arms and enjoy this phase of life as any other. How long your life is going to be may not be your decision. But, you can certainly influence the quality of life that you are going to live. Some tips that can help you improve the quality of life are as follows.

Quit Smoking

No good can come from smoking. But, it can play a big role in causing serious diseases like osteoporosis or even heart disease. Cases of people suffering from a stroke due to smoking are not uncommon. If you are a smoker then slowly wean yourself off of it or seek the help of a doctor if you are unable to kick the habit for good.

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Say Yes to Exercise

Your body will be with you until your time comes. Therefore, it is important that you take care of it so, in later years, it can take care of you. One can start exercising at any age. Something as little as gardening or going for a morning walk plays a big role in keeping disease like diabetes and blood pressure under control. According to a study, active people have fewer chances of developing dementia as they grow old.

Healthy Diet and Multivitamin

Diet is just as important as exercise is. A good diet is very important for a person to remain mentally and physically healthy. A healthy diet includes vegetables of different kinds, fruits, whole grains, and much more.

Multi-vitamins should be a part of everyone’s lives especially when they begin to age. For people who are getting old, calcium and vitamin D are a must-have on a daily basis.

As people get old, they become lonely. Having a circle of friends whom you meet regularly like can help keep you mentally sharp. In this day and age, there are websites online that one could make use of.

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