Ageing : A Natural Consequence Of Life Essay example

790 Words Jan 18th, 2016 4 Pages

Worldwide, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group [1, 2]. This can be considered a result of both longer life expectancy (decreased death rate) and declining fertility rates [3]. In 2006, it was estimated that 688 million people were 60 years or older, and, by the year of 2050, this age group is expected to increase to 2 billion, becoming larger than the age group of children under the age of 14 years [1].

In Australia, the number of people aged 65 and over is projected to more than double by 2055, when compared to today, with an expected number of 40,000 people aged 100 years and over. Moreover, in the next 40 years, male life expectancy is projected to increase from 91.5 years today to 95.1 years, and female life expectancy from 93.6 years today to 96.6 years [4].

Ageing is a natural consequence of life, a complex, multifactorial process that involves physical, psychological and social changes. Physiological ageing is a modifiable continuum, representing a result of a disharmony between extrinsic factors (stressors, e.g. free radicals and lifestyle factors) and intrinsic factors (inherent mechanisms, e.g. genetic predisposition); it is therefore an individual process [5].

Population ageing is considered one of humanity’s greatest triumphs, a cause for celebration, but also presents huge challenges, as it requires completely new approaches to health care [3].

It is well documented that older individuals are…

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