No one turns old overnight when waking up on his/her 65th birthday. Aging is a continuous change at a personal pace. A long life is a blessing that some never get to experience. But for those that do, that blessing comes with some inevitable signs of aging.
Immune responses slow down and health risk increases (including developing cancer); body heals more slowly. Self-care is essential. Get the vaccines for protection, such as COVID-19, cold/flu, pneumonia, shingles, and pneumococcal disease.
Due to the total urine volume bladder can hold decreases with age, urinary frequency increases and getting up at least once the restroom is normal. The bladder muscles may also become weaker making it difficult to completely empty bladder and harder to close off the urinary sphincter possibly causing leaking to occur. Urinary incontinence can be a result of these problems. It is recommended to empty bladder more frequently before it reaches maximal capacity and prevent stress incontinence.
Loss of muscle mass due to aging is actually about 10 to 15%, according to MedilinePlus. The rest is due to lack of activity and poor diet. The good news is that keeping up a normal muscle tone (M 32 – 35%; F 27 – 30%) is possible, even though you are over 60. Body fat tends to increase with age. A sedentary lifestyle can easily become a habit in this stage of life. Increased body fat elevates risks of diseases such as diabetes.
Regular exercise is essential for maintaining and rebuilding muscle tone, in which strength or resistance training is crucial. To combine with healthy eating will increase muscle tone and keeping body fat percentage at a healthy level (M 13 – 24%; F 24 – 35%).
Eye sight changes likely to notice including, but not limited to, loss of near vision, the growing need to use a brighter light to read and see details, and possibly changes in color perception. These are due primarily to the stiffening and yellowing of the lenses in aging eyes. Dry eye is common and using lubricating eye drops can help. Decrease screen time and eye rest is important as well.
A modest decrease in saliva production occurs with age and can be decreased further by some drugs. The decrease in saliva causes dry mouth (xerostomia). The gums may get thinner and begin to recede. Xerostomia and receding gums increase the likelihood of cavities. Some experts also believe that xerostomia may make the lining of the esophagus more susceptible to injury.
Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontal disease is a destructive disease of the gums and supporting structures caused by the long-term accumulation of bacteria. It is more likely to occur in people with poor oral hygiene. It is painless and when left untreated can cause many problems ultimately leading to tooth loss.
Tooth enamel tends to wear away with aging, making the teeth vulnerable to damage and decay. Tooth loss is the major reason that older people cannot chew as well and thus may not consume enough nutrients. Having missing teeth or wearing dentures can affect nutrition, because people without teeth or with dentures often prefer soft, easily chewed foods instead of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. When older people lose their teeth, the portion of the jaw bone that held those teeth in place gradually recedes and does not maintain its previous height.
Mouth cancer is also a concern; with median age at diagnosis is 62 years. Good dental care is the best prevention. Brush, floss, keep up dental cleaning and checkup regularly.
Aging skin becomes thinner, drier, less elastic, and more wrinkled. Many things in the skin begin to decrease such as collagen, elastin, the layer of fat under the skin, sweat glands, blood vessels, nerve endings, and pigment-producing cells. The lack of these things causes aging skin to bruise and tear easily and heal slowly, sag and bag, crack and peel, develop age spots and wrinkles.
Skin tags are small, usually flesh-colored growths of skin that have a raised surface. They become common as people age, especially for women. They are most often found on the eyelids, neck, and body folds such as the armpit, chest, and groin. Age spots and skin tags are harmless, although sometimes skin tags can become irritated. Skin cancer is a very common type of cancer and it is rarely painful. Look for changes such as a new growth, a sore that doesn't heal, or a bleeding mole. Skin cancer screening is recommended annually.
Be aware that sunlight exposure is essential for Vitamin D deficiency prevention, but over exposure may cause skin cancer.
Accepting Physical Changes for Age Appropriate Self-Care
Learning and understanding your changing body will benefit your self-care. Healthy mentality, regular exercise, and balanced diet are the golden rules to follow for enhance quality of life.
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