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 ?
At Command Building, 301, Government House, Chatchai Sarikulya, Deputy Prime Minister The President of the Strategic Plan for the Elderly, 1/2561.
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RIYADH: Minister of Labor and Social Development Mufrej Al-Haqabani said Thursday that his ministry is eager to involve the nonprofit sector in caring for the elderly across all welfare homes throughout the Kingdom.
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According to WHO (2015) most developed countries of the world have accepted the chronological age of 65 years as a definition of elderly or older person.
Authorities here are concerned about the increasing number of elderly people who are being neglected by their children.
Objective: The main aim of the research was to find the factors determining the QOL and family support of elderly people.
In Kuwait, little is known about the links among family care capabilities, daily activities, housing and the physical well-being of the elderly (Al-Ghazawi, 1998).
The data revealed in a research project titled "ystatistiklerle YaE-lylar" (Elderly Through Statistics) indicate that the proportion of elderly people -- consisting of people who are at least 65 years old -- in Turkey is estimated to rise to 10.
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