Late adulthood is the period of life in every individual that follows the period of his or her life after he/she turns 60 years of age. This period is marked by the process of growing old, resulting in part from the failure of body cells to function normally or to produce new body cells to replace those that are dead or malfunctioning. This in turn results in significant physical, psychological, and cognitive changes, like cardio-vascular, digestive malfunctioning, depression, impaired memory functioning, and so on. In this article, we shall have a look at the major changes in these categories.
Physical Changes In The late Adulthood:
The physical changes that occur in the bodies of the individuals, in their late adulthood can be divided into two main categories—
• External Changes
• Internal Changes
External Changes— These changes are the outward signs of aging, and are quiet obvious to notice. They consist of changes in hair, skin, posture etc.
Most people’s hair becomes distinctly gray and eventually turns white, and it may also thin out.
The skin becomes less elastic, more wrinkled, dry, and thin. The wrinkles are
formed partly because of loss of fatty tissue under the skin and partly due to loss of collagen, the protein that forms of body tissue (Bowers and Thomas, 1995; Medina 1996).
Height and Posture—
People may become noticeably shorter, with some shrinking as much as four inches. The primary cause for this shortening is that the cartilage in the disks of the backbone has become thinner. Also, it could be partially due to changes in posture. This is particularly true for women, who are more susceptible than men to osteoporosis, or thinning of bones.
2) Internal Changes— As the outward physical signs of aging become increasingly apparent significant changes occur in the internal functioning of the organ systems. The capacities of many functions decline with age.