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Aging gracefully Part II

Ageing gracefully Part II
Explaining Ageing :
At the biological level, ageing results from the impact of the accumulation of a wide variety of molecular and cellular damage over time. This leads to a gradual decrease in physical and mental capacity, a growing risk of disease and ultimately death.The study of the elderly and aging helps us understand problems in a state of the life course we all hope to reach. Biological aging refers to the physical changes that accompany the aging process, while psychological aging refers to the psychological changes that occur.

(A) Aging global population:

There were 703 million
(70.3 crores) persons aged 65 years or over in the world in year 2019. The number of older persons is projected to double to 1.5 billion in 2050. Globally, the share of the population aged 65 years or over increased from 6 per cent in 1990 to 9 per cent in 2019.
Both the share and size of elderly population(over 60 ) is increasing over time. From 5.6% in 1961 the proportion has increased to 8.6% in 2011. The proportion has increased to 10.1% in 2021 and further likely to increase to 13.1% in 2031. For males it was the highest absolute number in the world.
% population of elderly in India:
Above 60 . 10.1%(2021)
Above 65 . 6.77%(2021)
Above 70 . 3.73%(2020)
Above 80 1.62%(2020)

According to an estimate of 2015 there were 27000 centenarians in India that is 2.1 per one lakh population.

Ageing population and its causes:
The ageing of the world's populations is the result of the continued decline in fertility rates and increased life expectancy. This demographic change has resulted in increasing numbers and proportions of people who are over 60.

Japan- An example of Aging Population :
While this shift in distribution of a country's population towards older ages – known as population ageing – started in high-income countries (for example in Japan 30% of the population is already over 60 years old), it is now low- and middle-income countries that are experiencing the greatest changes.
Demographic Shifts in US:
The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group's share of the total population will rise from 16 % to 23 %. The older population is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse.

The effects of aging population:
Societal aging can affect economic growth, patterns of work and retirement, the way that families function, the ability of governments and communities to provide adequate resources for older adults, and the prevalence of chronic disease and disability.

The reasons for increasing ageing population:
Improvements in life expectancy have also propelled the increase in the older population. Between 1900 and 1960, life expectancy at birth increased from 51 years to 74 years for men and from 58 years to 80 years for women, primarily through reductions in infant, childhood, and early adulthood deaths.
Aging population do affect economy in many ways:
An aging population and slower labor force growth affect economies in many ways—the growth of GDP slows, working-age people pay more to support the elderly, and public budgets strain under the burden of the higher total cost of health and retirement programs for old people.

The factors for increasing in aging population:
Improvements in life expectancy have also propelled the increase in the older population. Between 1900 and 1960, life expectancy at birth increased from 51 years to 74 years for men and from 58 years to 80 years for women, primarily through reductions in infant, childhood, and early adult mortality.

(B) Senescence and Ageing:

Senescence is an irreversible form of long-term cell-cycle arrest, caused by excessive intracellular or extracellular stress or damage. The purpose of this cell-cycles arrest is to limit the proliferation of damaged cells, to eliminate accumulated harmful factors and to disable potential malignant cell transformation.
Aging is a progressive decline with time whereas senescence occurs throughout the lifespan, including during embryogenesis. The number of senescent cells increases with age, but senescence also plays an important role during development as well as during wound healing.

Relation of Senescence to aging: Although senescence plays physiological roles during normal development and it is needed for tissue homeostasis, senescence constitutes a stress response triggered by insults associated with aging such as genomic instability and telomere attrition, which are primary aging hallmarks themselves.
(C) Ageing and dementia:
The biggest risk factor for dementia is ageing. This means as a person gets older, their risk of developing dementia increases a lot. For people aged between 65 and 69, around 2 in every 100(2%) people have dementia. A person's risk then increases as they age, roughly doubling every five years.
As we age, our brains change, but Alzheimer's disease and related dementias are not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, up to 40% of dementia cases may be prevented or delayed. It helps to understand what's normal and what's not when it comes to brain health.

The three main risk factors associated with dementia:

(i) Age: The risk rises as you age, especially after age 65.
(ii)Family history: Having a family history of dementia puts you at greater risk of developing the condition.
(iii)Down syndrome: By middle age, many people with Down syndrome develop early-onset Alzheimer's disease.About 95 percent of the time, Down syndrome is caused by trisomy 21 — the person has three copies of chromosome 21, instead of the usual two copies, in all cells. This is caused by abnormal cell division during the development of the sperm cell or the egg cell.

Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia:
Dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia.

(D) Ageing and the neurodegeneration and Parkinson's disease :
Age is the largest risk factor for the development and progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Ageing affects many cellular processes that predispose to neurodegeneration, and age-related changes in cellular function predispose to the pathogenesis of PD.

Age at which most people who have Parkinson's start to develop symptoms:
Most people with Parkinson's start to develop symptoms when they're over 50, although around 1 in 20 people with the condition first experience symptoms when they're under 40. Men are slightly more likely to get Parkinson's disease than women.
The cause of Parkinson's disease in the elderly:
The exact cause of Parkinson's is still unclear. Scientists believe that factors like genes and exposure to certain toxins may increase your likelihood for getting Parkinson's. They have also linked the presence of a certain type of proteins found in the brain to Parkinson's disease.


(E) Cognitive decline and ageing:
"Cognitive decline may begin after midlife, but most often occurs at higher ages (70 or higher).” (Aartsen, et al., 2002) relatively little decline in performance occurs until people are about 50 years old.” (Albert & Heaton, 1988).
Cognitive change as a normal process of aging has been well documented in the scientific literature. Some cognitive abilities, such as vocabulary, are resilient to brain aging and may even improve with age. Other abilities, such as conceptual reasoning, memory, and processing speed, decline gradually over time.

Normal cognitive decline with aging:
We develop many thinking abilities that appear to peak around age 30 and, on average, very subtly decline with age. These age-related declines most commonly include overall slowness in thinking and difficulties sustaining attention, multitasking, holding information in mind and word-finding.

(F) Ageing and Telomeres shortening :Telomeres, the specific DNA–protein structures found at both ends of each chromosome, protect genome from nucleolytic degradation, unnecessary recombination, repair and interchromosomal fusion. Telomeres therefore play a vital role in preserving the information in our genome.
Telomeres are affected by aging:Telomeres get shorter each time a cell copies itself, but the important DNA stays intact. Eventually, telomeres get too short to do their job, causing our cells to age and stop functioning properly. Therefore, telomeres act as the aging clock in every cell.
Human Cellular Aging
Introduction. Telomeres, nucleoprotein structures located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, protect the end of the chromosome from degradation and end-to-end fusion . With each somatic cell division, there is a gradual attrition of the telomere, resulting in telomere length shortening with increasing age.
The shortening of telomeres:
Why do telomeres get shorter? Your DNA strands become slightly shorter each time a chromosome replicates itself. Telomeres help prevent genes from being lost in this process. But this means that as your chromosomes replicate, your telomeres shorten.

(G) Ageing and death:
Ageing is among the greatest known risk factors for most human diseases. Of the roughly 150,000 people who die each day across the globe, about two-thirds of IIT that is 100,000 per day die from age-related causes. In industrialized nations, the proportion is higher, reaching
90%. per day die due to age related causes.
As people get older, their cells simply don't work as well, and can't stave off disease as easily or heal as well as they once could. As a result, older people may die from injuries or diseases that a younger person would easily survive.Data from Italian centenarians suggests a “mortality plateau” You can halt aging without punishing diets or costly drugs. You just have to wait until you're 105. The odds of dying stop rising in people who are very old, according to a new study that also suggests we haven't yet hit the limit of human longevity.
There is a clear tendency for the lowest annual risk of death in children and young adults, with greater risk for the very young and very old. By the time we are over 65-70 years (depending on sex), we have at least a 1 in 100 chance of dying in the next years, rising to 1 in 10 over 85 years.

Here's what the Science research paper has reported
: A person's risk of dying gets statistically higher with each passing year , until they hit 80. The idea is that those who were less fit, in a Darwinian sense, die out before they hit extreme old age of 80 years.
85 years is the most common age to die.
However, it is interesting to know that complete population level mortality data for the period 2008 to 2010 had shown relatively similar estimates: median age at death is 81 years and most common age at death is 85 years.

There is no certain time for death and that can come at any time. We all know this eternal truth. Yet, some reports say most death occurs during night while the time span between 3 am to 4 am is the most vulnerable.

Definition of death according to Philosophers:
Death“Is this something that the separation of soul from the body? It died when the body is separate from the soul remains alone, apart, with himself, and when the soul, separated from the body, left alone, apart, with itself "

Person know when they are dying:
Dying is a natural process that the body has to work at. Just as a woman in labor knows a baby is coming, a dying person may instinctively know death is near. Even if your loved one doesn't discuss their death, they most likely know it is coming.

There is a 30% chance of making it to your 90th birthday, and only about 14 in 1,000 will see 100. 70 year olds have a somewhat better prognosis. Almost 2/3 of 70 year old men and almost 3/4(75%) of 70 year old women will live at least another ten years, and over 1/5(20%) of men will make it to 90, as will 1/3(33.33%) of women.

Pear shaped body type lives longest than apple shaped body type.When it comes to body shape and longevity, it's more helpful to compare apples and pears. That's the message of a study published in the journal PLOS ONE that found that pear-shaped people, who have comparatively thinner waists than people shaped like apples, tend to live longer.

(H)Ageing and quality of life:
The things that improve with age:
Among the perks of getting older, seniors tend to make better decisions, are more emotionally stable and become less impulsive than their younger peers, according to research. Older minds tend to better understand the weight of each decision because they know the value of their time, energy and happiness.
life of the elderly

Seven Ways to Improve Quality of Life for Seniors:

Create a Sense of Purpose.
Recognise and Treat Signs of Depression.
Find Usefulness in Daily Tasks.
Make Connections to Improve Quality of Life for Seniors.
Stay in Physical Motion.
Stay in Mental Motion.
Look for Opportunities for Senior Service.

Six Ways to Improve Mental Health in Seniors:
Play Mind Games. Just as the body needs physical activity and stimulation to stay healthy, the brain needs stimulation to stay sharp and avoid cognitive decline as we age.
Get Physically active.
Stay Connected with Friends.
Pick up a New Hobby.
Volunteering.
Caring for a Pet.

Ageing gracefully Quotes:
"You don't stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”

"It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams."

"Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength."

"Your face is marked with lines of life, put there by love and laughter, suffering and tears. It's beautiful"

A twenty-three-year-long study in Ohio determined that people who saw growing older as something positive lived a whopping seven and a half years longer than those who didn’t.

Information compiled by:
Dr. Bhairavsinh Raol