CHANGES

As we know, the old age is a physiological process of human race, where physical, physiological and social changes happen. We can define elderly age as a period of humans evolutionary cycle, which can easily be a third part of our whole life.

Growing old is a dynamic, gradual, natural and inevitable process. It is said that someone becomes an elderly when he is around 65 years old and it is quite associated with retirement. It is a really chaotic change for everyone and a lot of changes take place in different aspects of life.

Here we have some of the most significant changes:

  • Changes in health: The possibility of diseases increases.
  • Physiological changes: Cells grow old and the corporal structure changes. Moreover, people lose elasticity and hydration on the skin, and, because of that, wrinkles appear in elderly people`s faces.
  • Changes in activity: The capacity of exercising increases. Nevertheless, people have to stay active, more than ever.
  • Changes in perception: All the senses may get affected , and together with them , other sensorial problems, such as hearing or sight problems.
  • Nutritional changes: As metabolism changes, diet also becomes more specific and delicate.
  • Social changes: social relationships and roles change, even within the family. Moreover, a lot of people due to their own personal struggles don’t get actively involved in  society.
  • Memory loss: There are a lot of elements that can make a person lose memories, such as loneliness, inactivity, some medicines, or even some some brain diseases. The most known illness is Alzheimer’s disease. According to a survey that  an Spanish web page specialized in elederly people did, around 8% of the people between 65 and 85 suffer it, while 25% or 50% of the people older than 85 years suffer it.
  • Changes in routine and sleep: The individual stops following routines so the sleeping pattern totally changes.
  • Self-concept: At the same time as our body image changes, our self -concept  also changes, and it is usually quite negative, causing problems in autoestime. 

As we can see, we can define this period as a period of changes. We will examine some of these changes in the following articles.

 

Sigue leyendo “CHANGES”

HEALTH AND CARE

All along with getting older, health problems begin to appear and start being a bigger problem. Nevertheless, it is necessary to say that getting older doesn’t necessarily have to mean having consequences in health, but it is true that as we grow older, the prevalence of illnesses increases.

Besides, as life expectancy has grown in these last decades, so has the demand in community services. The older people are, the easier they can catch any illness due to their changes in their body. Here, money has a huge role. Depending on the economic status of each elderly, the cares will be better or worse. So, specially in capitalist countries, we can say that the quality of life is pretty connected to the amount of money that a person has.

Speaking about health, it is said to be one of the biggest worries for elderly people or even for their relatives or friends. There is no way to avoid it: as we grow old, our minds and bodies change. Some of the changes come from the natural process of growing old, but, other ones can be a signal of a health problem. However, having an illness doesn’t mean that people can’t have a full life. It is necessary to deal with the illness and to carry on enjoying life without thinking too much about it. At first, it can be quite difficult, but once the person has assumed it, he would probably learn how to live with it.

Sigue leyendo “HEALTH AND CARE”

MEMORIES

When you get to an age in which you are considered an elderly, that is the time when you have to analyze how satisfying or interesting your life has been. Because of that, memories are really important. Every single thing that you experience is fixed in your memory. Your memories represent you, they show you what your journey in life has been, they show what your personality is or has been. Thanks to that, you can look forward and see what mistakes you made in the past.

Nevertheless, memories can have a different impact depending on the person. On the one hand, there are some people who get really involved with their past, that spend too much time thinking on what they did wrong, instead of focusing on living these last years of their life.

On the other hand, some elderly people look back in time nostalgic and thankful for the life they have had. Because of that, memories are a main element of elderly people’s life, but they can also be a dangerous weapon depending on the impact that they have in each person.

FREE TIME

Once people retire from their jobs, they have to start dealing with a different situation.  Once they have left behind their jobs, elderly people have all the time they want for themselves.

Elderly age has been considered a period of isolation, relaxation and less social life. Nevertheless, it has been proved that it is necessary to have an active life in order to feel better.

In this stage of life, having fun and relationships with other people are essential for being busy in your free time. There are some people who choose to participate in religious activities, so they get involved in occupations linked to their parish. For other people, recreational activities play an important role in their rhythm of life (for example, attending clubs, taking part in trips…) or they even take part in community and social activities.

Sigue leyendo “FREE TIME”

LONELINESS

 

Aristoteles said once that humans are supposed to be social animals, that is to say, they need to socialize in order to carry on living. We all need to socialize and to be surrounded by people. Nobody likes to feel or be alone. But, sadly, in the course of life, people start to disappear, they leave, and this happens a lot among elderly people.     First, their old relatives, then, their parents, and finally, people of their age start to vanish. Friends, siblings, and even their partners. This causes a huge feeling of loneliness among them. Nevertheless, that is not the only cause for people’s feeling of loneliness.

The elderly would bear the brunt of this issue. In fact, lonely seniors are more prone to decline and die faster. A study carried out by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has made no secret of the fact that 18 percent of seniors live alone, whereas 43 percent feel lonely on a regular basis.

However, the most surprising fact of all is that two thirds of the elderly questioned by the UCSF claimed to feel lonely while being married or living with someone else.

This leads us to the next question, how is it possible to have someone keeping you company but still  feeling this way? Why are elderly so lonely?

As T. Byram Karasu, chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine says:

“They are lonely because they are alone, they [seniors] are put in nursing homes, assisted living communities, etc. Those are totally disorienting experiences.”

Here, in the following video, you can listen to two testimonies from elderly people who live on their own and know what loneliness is like.

What does it feel like to be old and alone? 

PENSIONS

A comparison among the different systems of some countries shows that each system is strongly connected with the economic, sociological, political, cultural and historical characteristics of each nation. There is not a universal system that could be applied in all the states.

A percentage is applied to these features: 40% suitability, 35% sustainability and 25% integrity. Each one of them measures certain characteristics of the country and its pension system in order to evaluate, to some extent, what is appropriate and what is not.

Every country has its own system when it comes to pensions, so, as it is normal, there are countries that have a better pension system that others. At the top of the hierarchy we have Denmark, which  has a powerful, first class system of pensions that offers excellent profits to the pensioners.

Speaking about Spain, it has the same system as Greece, Italy and Portugal. All the compensations depend on the public sector through a delivery system. Nevertheless, they can also be complemented with other plans of private pensions that have a specific regularity.

There are different types of contributive pensions in Spain (the orphanhood pension, permanent disability pension…), but rewarding elderly people, we have two main types of pensions.

First of all, we have retirement pensions. They are the most common ones among elderly people. It is a life-long pension which is unique and essential. They are supposed to cover the loss of income that a worker has, because when a person retires, he/shes stop getting that amount of money.

Secondly,- we have widow’s pension. It is also a life-long pension that  it is granted to those who have been married to somebody who has died. In order to get it, some conditions must be fulfilled.

Sigue leyendo “PENSIONS”