old age

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old age:

see geriatricsgeriatrics
, the branch of medicine concerned with conditions and diseases of the aged. Many disabilities in old age are caused by or related to the deterioration of the circulatory system (see arteriosclerosis), e.g.
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old age

the last part of the individual LIFE COURSE, associated with declining faculties, low social worth and detachment from previous social commitments. It is a social construct rather than a biological stage, since its onset and significance vary historically and culturally. See also AGEING, GERONTOLOGY.

Old Age


the period of life that inevitably sets in after middle age and is characterized by significant metabolic, structural, and functional changes in organs and systems that limit the adaptability of the body. Old age is a result of the dynamic process of aging. According to one system of age classification, 75–90 years of age is considered old age, and over 90, advanced old age.

An individual’s physical appearance, work capacity, and mental abilities change with old age, as does the course of many diseases. The skin becomes thinner and less elastic, and wrinkles and pigment spots appear. The hair turns gray and falls out. Visual acuity decreases, and lenticular opacity develops, often resulting in the formation of cataracts. An individual may grow shorter, and curvature of the spine is common. Joint mobility is limited, and bones become fragile and lose calcium. Mental performance declines, and a person becomes more easily fatigued, less able to recall recent events, and subject to sleep disturbances.

Because of their adaptive mechanisms, some old people can maintain a high level of intellectual activity for a long time and remain alert and creative. With old age, organs and tissues are less influenced by neural factors but are more sensitive to humoral influences. Age-related changes in the vascular wall and in protein and lipid metabolism contribute to the progression of atherosclerosis. Changes in digestion may cause vitamin deficiency. The rate of aging and extent of changes in organs and tissues vary with each individual. (For changes that occur with aging on the cellular level and in functional systems see.)


old age

[′ōld ′āj]
The last stage of the erosion cycle in the development of the topography of a region in which erosion has reduced the surface almost to base level and the land forms are marked by simplicity of form and subdued relief. Also known as topographic old age.
References in periodicals archive ?
Biological and physiological variables may play a more important role than advanced age in predicting poor survival after liver transplantation," the authors concluded.
After submitting the results of the investigation to careful study," continued the statement, "the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the guidance of the new prefect, His Eminence Cardinal William Levada, has decided--taking into account both the advanced age of Father Maciel as well as his poor health--to drop the canonical process and invite him to a reserved life of prayer and penance, renouncing all public ministry.
He has found a new wife who is able to soften him a bit, but Katie still chafes under his constraints even as she discovers some new freedoms that her advanced age of 13 112 brings her.
I just hope he doesn't use the pervert's advanced age as an excuse - age was certainly no barrier to his evil doings.
There are three clear advantages to making the deemed-sale election for a grantor of advanced age (or newly deceased).
In 1993 Martin moved into a new studio in Taos; given her advanced age, she decided to use a smaller format (five feet square instead of six feet square) so she could continue to handle her canvases without assistance.
It is why advanced age is often associated with frailty and it has consequences way beyond vanity and vigor.
8] Advanced age is also not a disorder, according to the EEOC, although medical conditions associated with advanced age would be.
In my grandmother's case, it could be argued that, given her diagnosis of terminal renal failure with other complications and advanced age, her quality of life was minimal or below.
We can no longer ascribe urinary incontinence in frail elderly persons merely to advanced age, dementia, immobility, or institutionalization, although all these factors undoubtedly play a part.
Epstein, Segal, Spaeth, and Walker (1996) argue that "a justice of advanced age enjoying relatively good health may be more prone to retire if the incumbent president is likely to appoint an [ideologically] acceptable replacement.
Not all those women were old, but in general writing autobiographies was something the women undertook at an advanced age.

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