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 ?
During reminiscence sessions, senior adults are encouraged to tell the "stories' of their life that have given their lives value, meaning, and a sense of completeness (Lubarsky, 1997).
Ben's strengths-based and action-oriented approach to helping adolescents, adults, and senior adults is centered on a culturally competent, trauma-informed, and existentially oriented approach to counseling and psychotherapy.
On average, the children in the experimental group had been interacting with senior adults for 12 months prior to the administration of the assessments for this study.
Collaborate with peers for chamber groups, performances, ensembles, composition, theory and recital expenses; offer joint studio group classes for senior adults or pre-schoolers.
Work with senior adults, whom she launched as the company called Dancers of the Third Age, catapulted Lerman into the national spotlight back in the 1970s.
The camp also operates an exchange program with a nearby camp for senior adults.
With the addition of the Fairlamb Senior Health Clinic, the clinical component of the center, 98 percent of senior adults in Arkansas have access to quality health care within a 60-mile drive from their homes," Beverly said.
After caring for her elderly father and Alzheimer's afflicted mother for ten years, Trickett decided to devote her life to helping caregivers of senior adults.
Our senior adults know the young people and the children even though they are not biologically related, and our youth and children know the senior adults.