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The 3 phases of old age, and their physical and psychological changes

The 3 phases of old age, and their physical and psychological changes

July 17, 2024

Old age is, in many aspects, the vital stage in which although many capacities are diminished, full psychological maturity is consolidated.

On the other hand, the incomprehension on the part of the bulk of adults who do not belong to this age range has meant that to a certain extent all human beings who are going through old age are seen as belonging to the same category, as if the same be 70 years old than 92.

Next we will see what they are the 3 phases of old age, and what are their psychological and physical effects .

  • Related article: "The 9 stages of the life of human beings"

The 3 phases of old age

The third age is a vital stage that, partly because of the increase of the life expectancy, covers a process of evolution that can get to be very long, with many variations and many variables to take into account.

That is why it is useful to talk about the phases of old age, given that they offer an approximate categorization about special needs, the most common behavior patterns and the biological characteristics of these stages.

By way of summary, the stages of old age are as follows.

Prevejez: 55 to 65 years

The prevejez is the prelude to the life stage in which several of the bodily functions are diminished in a more or less drastic their ability to continue working as they had done before.

Physical changes

In this stage It is common for sleep patterns to be altered , significantly decreasing the number of hours you need to sleep every night. It is also common to see changes in fat retention and a slower and heavier type of digestion. Muscular mass, on the other hand, usually atrophies significantly.

In women, the prevejez arrives approximately with the end of menopause , which generates a series of hormonal alterations that affect both physical symptoms and others of an emotional nature linked to how this event is experienced.

Psychological changes

In this phase of old age, contrary to what is believed, it is not customary to suffer a crisis or decrease the level of happiness. However, it does change the way of thinking.

In particular, it often appears a melancholic thought pattern in which life begins to be seen through memories, what was experienced in the past. Comparisons between what happened years ago and the here and now are very frequent.

On the other hand, those with active family life can be exposed to the empty nest syndrome, by which the children leave the home and there is loneliness and sometimes boredom.

  • Related article: "The 4 psychological changes in old age (memory, attention, intelligence, creativity)"

Old age: 65 to 79 years old

The "pure" old age is the stage of life in which both the weakening of biological functions and a psychological style based on the revision of the past and experimentation with memories are consolidated.

Physical changes

They appear postural problems and weakening of bones, which can produce pain or even that great efforts can not be made. Digestion problems, in many cases, are accentuated, as well as the risk of experiencing several types of cancer.

In addition, both vision and hearing often suffer, which in turn leads to a psychological risk: the isolation , since it costs more effort to relate to others or even participate in conversations.

After 75 years of age, on the other hand, people already meet the profile of a geriatric patient whenever there is a significant problem in their quality of life such as mental deterioration or the inability to live independently.

Psychological changes

In this stage the decline of an important aspect of mental processes is consolidated: the level of intelligence. More specifically, it is fluid intelligence, which has to do with mental agility and the generation of new knowledge starting from scratch, which is most affected, while crystallized intelligence is preserved much better in most healthy adults of this age.

Agedly: 80 years and older

Old age is the last stage of old age, and involves a qualitative change in both physical and psychological evolution.

Physical changes

In this phase the postural alterations and the fragility of bones and articulations s they are accentuated, which can lead to significantly reduce the autonomy of people. The rest of health problems also follow their progression, becoming significantly more frequent in this phase.

Psychological changes

In this phase the danger of social isolation is accentuated, given that, on the one hand, the number of friendships decreases because of the frequency with which the deaths occur, and on the other hand the lack of autonomy It tends to make home exits and meetings happen more rarely. Free time is usually occupied with relatively contemplative activities, such as reading or gardening.

8 Stages of Development by Erik Erikson (July 2024).

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