Ageing is universal, but that doesn’t make it any easier. All cells in the body experience changes while ageing. From hair and muscle cells to blood cells and neurons, time causes every part of the body to degrade on a cellular level. Over the years, many cells will lose their ability to function, or they may begin to function abnormally.
If you’re noticing changes to your body, they may be signs of ageing. Below are just a few of the most common symptoms of ageing, as well as their concomitant causes.
- Hair Loss – Most age-related hair loss occurs because hair growth slows. Late in a person’s life, hair follicles may stop growing hair altogether, causing patchy or widespread baldness. Older people may also experience hairline recession and greying hair.
- Weight Gain or Loss – Depending on the individual, a senior may experience either unwanted weight gain or weight loss. Lipid turnover in fat tissue tends to decrease with age, which can make gaining weight easier. By contrast, some senior may experience unwanted weight loss if they have a chronic physical illness, like cancer. Seniors may also have a dulled sense of taste and smell, which can reduce appetite and lead to weight loss.
- Bone Density Loss – While more common in female bodies, bone density loss is a chronic issue among the world’s 65+ population. As we age, bone degradation begins to outstrip the body’s ability to generate tissue. Over time, this can lead to chronic bone density loss, which can cause fractures and impaired mobility. Nutrient deficiencies and metabolism problems, as well as chemotherapy and some medications, can also contribute to bone density changes.
- Hormonal Changes – Hormonal changes are common regardless of a person’s sex. Aging changes the ways in which certain hormones are controlled and produced. Blood levels of some hormones will increase, while others will decrease. In many cases, some hormones may be broken down more slowly. To that end, the endocrine system becomes less effective with age, which means hormone production slows over time.
Is Something Wrong, or are You Just Ageing?
Ageing can be a scary experience, as it is hard to predict how your body will change. As a result, it can be difficult to know when a new experience is a sign of something serious. When seniors choose to age in place, there are fewer opportunities for regular medical appointments. Having a close and transparent relationship with your doctor is essential for sorting the regular effects of ageing from other conditions. If you trust your physician, you are more likely to ask them about day-to-day experiences. This, over time, can lead to a more comprehensive understanding of your health.
Some seniors need immediate attention when they experience a senior-related health issue. If you are at risk of falling or having an accident in the home, a medical alert device can help mitigate age-related accidents. Most of these accidents require fast and efficient help, and communication devices – alert systems, cell phone, and landlines – can give seniors the access they need.