Learning Center Articles

The Aging Individual

The Aging Individual

Who are the old?

  • How one is considered old is largely based on one’s own variables, such as attitudes, mental health, physical health, or degree of independence, so there is no real definitive age.
  • How many old people are there in the US? Expected to number 77.0 million
  • If one considers age to be a determining factor, then as of 2015, there were 15.2 percent of the population over the age of 65.

Epidemiology

  • As of 2016, there were 70 percent of men and 46 percent of women age 65 years and older who were married.
  • Note, there were over three times as many widows as there were widowers.
  • The majority of individuals 65 years or older live alone, or with their spouses or with relatives
  • Approximately 4.6 million older persons live below the poverty level.
  • There were 9.6 million older Americans that were employed in 2016, and that number is increasing
  • As we get older, the number of days where activities are restricted increase; illness and injuries are the main cause.
  • Emotional and mental illness increase over the life cycle.

The aging process

  • Biologic changes occur as we get older, including decrease in functioning of all of our major body systems. Some of these include –
    • Skin
    • Cardiovascular system
    • Respiratory system
    • Renal system
    • GI system
    • Musculoskeletal System
    • GI system
    • Immune System
    • Sensory system