Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Elderly

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I love old people! You learn so much from them. Yes some are mean and crabby, but not all. If you are nice and respectful to them they return the same favor.

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Are all Elderly the same?

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‘Older people’ constitute a very diverse group. Many older people lead active and healthy lives, while some much younger ‘older people’ have a poorer quality of life. People age in unique ways, depending on a large variety of factors, including their gender, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and whether they live in industrialised or developing countries, in urban or rural settings. Climate, geographical location, family size, life skills and experience are all factors that make people less and less alike as they advance in age.

Individual variations in biological characteristics (e.g. blood pressure or physical strength) tend to be greater between older people than between young ones: the characteristics of two ten-year-olds would be more similar than those of two eighty-year- olds. Such diversity leads to considerable difficulties in interpreting results from scientific studies on ageing, which are often conducted on particular, well defined groups of older people: the findings may not apply to a large proportion, or even the majority of older people.

The differences are further increased by disease experiences throughout life which may accelerate the ageing process. Many studies have shown that there are wide variations in patterns of disease in people from different ethnic and cultural communities which remain largely unexplained. For example, immigrants and their descendants who move from the Indian subcontinent to countries across the globe have higher rates of coronary heart disease than the population of the countries to which they moved.