Physical and cognitive changes in late adulthood

Physicaland cognitive changes in late adulthood

Asa human being advances in years, he/she approaches the age referredto as the late adulthood. However, depending on the society,community or such other setting, this age at which an individual isconsidered elderly varies. Nevertheless, there is an observation thatfor any single being, the level of physical and mental activitygradually lowers. Many at times health is a critical concern oncethis age is met. Notably, women have shown to live relatively longerthan men of their same age. Changes occur in daily life of vastaspects and in this paper, the characteristics that accompany lateadulthood are explored.

Firstly,the body experiences many physical changes that affect theindividual’s performance of tasks. Other changes may be of verylittle significance as far as physical activity is concerned. Forinstance, the hair changes to grey before turning stunning white atmore advanced years. Additionally, the tongue taste buds reduce intheir sensitivity to taste, the dental composition is endangered asteeth loss is experienced, temperature sensitivity changes where theindividual feels cold at more times in the day and touch sensitivityis reduced. Boundless (2014), the aging process often has the resultof loss of memory, intellectual function is deteriorated, decreasedmobility and higher disease rate. Kathleen (2009) note that someelderly people run marathon and lead nations while others are nolonger able to move or think. This depicts that the changes affectelderly people in general but differences exist as to the extentwithin which they affect individual’s activities.

Amongthe changes that adversely affect the activities are visualimpairments where the victim encounters challenges in reading withnaked eyes including other tasks that are eye-involving. Hearingimpairment and olfactory impairment that refers to the sensing ofsmell develop weaknesses. Hypothermia symptoms emerge and this ismanifested by the emergency loss of body temperature other than whichis required for normal metabolism and body functions, technicallybelow 35°C. Individuals also lose interest in and ability to engagein sexual intimacy. Sleep patterns change where the number of hoursslept, consistency and tendency to follow a regular pattern isdisrupted. The muscle to fat ratio also changes for both genderswhere fat is accumulated in the stomach area in a condition called“middle-aged bulge”. (Boundless, 2014). As a result, walking isaffected since the victims assume a front-leaning posture_ the pacebecomes slower. This coerces him/her to use a staff as a support inwalking. Hearing aid and use of glasses is sought. They experiencetoo hurdles in activities that require huge amounts of calories.

Kathleen(2014) senescence reduces production of neurotransmitters that allowa nerve impulse to jump quickly. This has a result in a brainslowdown, seen in reaction time, talking, and thinking. The elderlypeople then suffer a condition known as dementia which refers to achronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused bybrain and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, andimpaired reasoning. These are cognitive in nature as they affect theperception of the individual, ways in which inferences are generatedand explanation to issues. They consequently affect multitaskingwhere the brain has to focus on one activity at a time. Due to thesechanges, some elderly people are treated as incompetent, e. g inworkplace, pretense and incapable.


Boundless.“Aging: Physical and Cognitive Changes in Later Years.” BoundlessPsychology. Boundless,03 Jul. 2014.

Berger,Kathleen Stassen (2011). Late Adulthood: Cognitive Development, TheDeveloping Person Through The Life Span. Eighthedition, Worth Publishers.

Berger,Kathleen Stassen (2009). Invitationo Lifespan.First edition. Worth Publishers.