Normal aging changes and the effects of changes in the elderly functional capacity

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Normal aging changes and the effects of changes in the elderly functional capacity by Mind Map: Normal aging changes and the effects of changes in the elderly functional capacity

1. Society: ability to get along with the values and standards, and the relationship towards the society

2. American Psychological Association. 2017. Older Adults' Health and Age-Related Changes. [referenced 9.3.2017]. Available at: Berger, V. 2005. Aging and Mental Health. [referenced 9.3.2017]. Available at: Emory University 2017. Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Cognitive Skills & Normal Aging. [referenced 8.3.2017]. Available at: Etten, M., Perkins, E. & Saxon, S. 2014. Physical change and aging: A guide for the helping professionals. 6th edition. Springer publishing company. [referenced 7.3.2017]. Available at: Glisky E.L. 2007. Changes in Cognitive Function in Human Aging. Brain Aging: Models, Methods, and Mechanisms. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. Chapter 1. [referenced 8.3.2017]. Available at: Kelo, S., Launiemi, H., Takaluoma, M. & Tiittanen, H. 2015. Ikääntynyt ihminen ja hoitotyö. 1st edition. Helsinki: Sanoma Pro Oy. Litwin, H. 2012. Physical activity, social network type, and depressive symptoms in late life: an analysis of data from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project. Aging & mental health, 16(5), 608-616. [referenced 8.3.2017]. Available at: Pitkälä, K., Strandberg, T., Sulkava, R., Tilvis, R. & Viitanen, M. 2016. Geriatria. 3rd edition. Helsinki: Kustannus Oy Duodecim. Savikko, N. 2014. Vanhuksen yksinäisyys. Shk02255. Kustannus Oy Duodecim. [referenced 8.3.2017]. Available at:

3. Changes in physical functional capacity

3.1. Ability to move and senses change as a result of aging

3.2. Shortness of breath and tiredness during strenuous exercise

3.3. Poor balance and bad vision can cause falls -> risk of fractures!

3.4. Reduced joint mobility and arthritis can cause pain while moving

3.5. Pain, weakness and stiffness of muscles can cause inability to perform daily household duties

3.6. Need of aids such as walking stick, walker, wheelchair

3.7. Inadequate nutrition can cause physical weakness, weight loss and depression

3.8. Inability to drive a car due to bad eyesight/vision loss

4. Physiological changes of aging

4.1. Breathing and cardiovascular system: atherosclerosis of arteries, changes in blood pressure, calcification of heart valves, decreased pumping function of the heart, lung function decreases

4.2. Internal organs: changes in structures of kidneys (affects fluid and electrolyte balance and elimination of drugs), immune system gets weaker

4.3. Musculoskeletal system and body structure: loss of bone density, reduced joint mobility, height getting shorter, weight loss, accumulation of fat tissue, muscle atrophy

4.4. Senses: changes in eyesight, vision loss, dry eyes, hearing problems, lack of saliva, dry mouth, loss of taste, ability to feel thirst decreases, loss of smell, lazy bowel movements, balance problems, syncope (dizziness and fainting)

4.5. Nervous system: brain tissue loss, memory disorders, reduced psychomotor function, ability to handle stress gets weaker

4.6. Skin: skin gets thinner and wrinkled, loss of skin elasticity, dry skin, shrinking of sweat glands (tissue loss reduces water inside the body)

5. Psychological changes of aging

5.1. Most of the older adults live independently and maintain good relationships with their families. Depression rates among non-institutionalized senior citizens are lower than among younger people.

5.2. For most of the people personality stays stable throughout their life.

5.3. Most of the older adults experience normal age-related changes, that can affect their lifestyle. Mental health tightly connected to physical health.

5.4. Good mental health depends on the individual ability to deal with changes. The most common issues would be:

5.4.1. Dealing with physical changes. As a person grows older, physical changes occur e.g. energy levels are different, recovery from illness or injuries may take longer, hearing or vision might be impaired, etc.

5.4.2. Dealing with loss. It is very common for older adults to experience loss of some kind, e.g. death of loved ones, loss of physical capacity, social status, etc. Depression is a normal reaction to that kind of situations, however it has to be within certain limits.

5.4.3. Dealing with loneliness. Retirement, death of friends and busyness of family members can increase sense of loneliness. This can cause anxiety or depression.

6. Social changes of aging

6.1. Loneliness: Elderlies can experience loneliness both living alone and living with someone. Likewise an elderly might not feel lonely at all when living alone. Loneliness can cause melancholy, separation, depression and anxiety.

6.2. Relationships: Inability to make and support close relationships which can lead to loneliness. Likewise some elderlies might think that they are old and not needed which leads to negative attitude and affects the identity and self-esteem.

6.3. Social network: social network can be strengthening and weakening

6.4. Communication skills: education, incomes, expectations and social preparedness

6.5. Health status: weakened hearing, vision, functionality and cognitive stage can lead to unwanted isolation

6.6. Basic everyday life: being able to face and cope with everyday routines and requirements

6.7. Sociodemographic background and culture: in some cultures’ families elderlies are in an important position, and the family takes care of them and the elderlies participate in the family’s happenings and therefore their social life is supported

7. Karolina Beirad 1401991 Mariia Muraveva 1501099 Han Le 1501090 Essi Turunen 1501110

8. Cognitive changes of aging

8.1. Memory: Remote memory or recall of past events that have been stored over many years remains relatively preserved in old age. Recent memory and the formation of new memories are more vulnerable to aging.

8.2. Intelligence: Crystallized intelligence, e.g. knowledge or experience accumulated over time, remains stable with age. Fluid intelligence or abilities not based on experience/education tend to decline.

8.3. Language: Verbal abilities including vocabulary are preserved. Common changes have to do with word retrieval or the process of getting words out. It takes longer and is more difficult to find the words one wants when engaged in conversation or trying to recall names of people and objects. The information is not lost but it is more difficult to retrieve.

8.4. Attention: Simple or focused attention such as the ability to attend to a television program tends to be preserved in older age. Difficulties may be encountered, however, when divided attention is required such as trying to pay attention to the television and simultaneously talk on the telephone.

8.5. Reasoning and Problem Solving: Traditional ways of approaching solutions are maintained in older persons. Problems that have not been encountered during life may take extra time to figure out.

8.6. Speed of Processing: Aging affects the speed with which cognitive and motor processes are performed. This does not mean that the activities cannot be performed, but rather that they take longer.

9. Reference list