Ageing is a natural process. Everyone must undergo this phase of life at his or her own time and pace. In the broader sense, ageing reflects all the changes taking place over the course of life. These changes start from birth—one grows, develops and attains maturity. To the young, ageing is exciting. Middle age is the time when people notice the age-related changes like greying of hair, wrinkled skin and a fair amount of physical decline. Even the healthiest, aesthetically fit cannot escape these changes. Slow and steady physical impairment and functional disability are noticed resulting in increased dependency in the period of old age. According to World Health Organization, ageing is a course of biological reality which starts at conception and ends with death. It has its own dynamics, much beyond human control. However, this process of ageing is also subject to the constructions by which each society makes sense of old age. In most of the developed countries, the age of 60 is considered equivalent to retirement age and it is said to be the beginning of old age. In this chapter, you understand the details of ageing processes and associated physiological changes.
Part of the book: Gerontology