Physiological Changes Associated With Aging: Mechanisms Research Proposal

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10). The study results indicate that frail older adults are more likely to suffer from low systolic blood pressure. This, the authors opine, can be associated with the impairment of the cognitive system and increased mortality among frail individuals. This low systolic blood pressure impacts negatively on the individual's overall health and can be a major cause of cardiovascular disorders (Heckman et al., 2013; Bherer et al., 2013). In summary, this article dwells specifically on the change to the cognitive system associated with aging and reports that the reduction in transmitters and neurons, and the subsequent impairment of the thermoregulation system inhibit the effective functioning of the cognitive system and lead to the worsening of the associated cardiovascular changes.

Moreover, the associated change gives rise to "new concerns, including behavioral and communication problems (likely related to delirium), incontinence, pain, mobility problems, acute decline in basic activities of daily living," and higher risks of functional decline (Heckman, Gray & Hirdes, 2013, pp. 11-12).

Glassock (2009)

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This article dwells on GFR decline as a change associated with senescence. The author points out that "the decline in GFR is a normal and expected phenomenon that does not in, and of itself confer any selective disadvantage upon the individual, unless other diseases are superimposed" (Glassock, 2009). The article points out that the kidney's excretory function and the strength of bladder contraction diminish with aging, creating incontinence and voiding problems in women, and prostate enlargement in males, and increasing vulnerability to genitor-urinary system cancers. The author's main point, however, is that this particular associated change is an inevitable, integral, and predictable part of aging, and not a disease as some have argued.

Conclusion

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Physiological Changes Associated With Aging: Mechanisms Assignment

Aging is characterized by the impairment of the homeostatic processes that integrate different organs. Major changes accrue to the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, renal, cognitive, and endocrine systems, leading to homeostatic failure under conditions of physiological pressure. Owing to the progressive dysfunction of endothelial cells, arteries lose their elasticity and the valves in the heart thicken, causing a reduction in cardiac output. On another note, the strength of the intercostals muscles diminishes from the effect of wear and tear, causing the chest walls to become stiffer, the alveoli less elastic, and the ribcage stiffer and less capable of contracting and expanding during the respiratory process. The skin, like all other tissues, loses its elasticity and vitality and makes way for atrophy, dryness, and wrinkles. In the gastrointestinal system, the stomach undergoes atrophy which reduces its secretion of acid, lengthening the emptying process, and causing frequent constipation. Moreover, muscle strength and mass diminishes, leading to bone fractures and increasing the risks of falls and osteoporosis. It is crucial that providers understand the aforementioned changes because only then will they be in a position to advance proper care to the elderly in society.

References

Bherer, L., Erickson, K.I. & Liu-Ambrose, T. (2013). A Review of the Effects of Physical Activity and Exercise on Cognitive and Brain Functions in Older Adults. Journal of Aging Research, vol. 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2014 from [HIDDEN]

Glassock, R.J. (2009). The GFR Decline with Aging: A Sign of Normal Senescence, Not Disease. Nephrology Times, 2(9), 6-8.

Heckman, G., Gray, L.C. & Hirdes, J. (2013). Addressing Healthcare Needs for Frail Seniors in Canada: the Role of InterRAI Instruments. Canadian Geriatrics… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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