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“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” —Robert Frost, poet
“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.”
—Robert Frost, poet
According to widely accepted research, all five senses and the general functioning of the body begin to decline as early as the age of 30. As we age our appearance changes, our thought processes slow down and both our lung capacity and physical strength diminish. But what else should we expect as we get older? What are the main risks and benefits associated with aging?
Statistics published by the US National Council on Aging (NCOA) show that around 92% of older adults have at least one chronic disease and 77% have at least two. Most are non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer, hypertension and diabetes, as opposed to viruses or parasites. Diabetes affects 23% of Americans over 60, while over 90% of those aged 55 and over are at risk of hypertension. According to the World Health Organization’s “Interesting facts about aging,” most deaths among the globe’s older population are the result of NCDs. The WHO also states that as global lifespans increase so will incidents of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Of those currently 85 and older, 5-30% experience some cognitive decline.
The NCOA warns that older people are more vulnerable to trauma, especially falls, but on the bright side, those above 65 are less likely to get into car accidents.
Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that older women sweat less than their younger counterparts. Furthermore, according to the North American Menopause Society, hormonal migraines usually stop after menopause.
Studies also show that older people are generally better at making strategic decisions and are more financially responsible than young adults.
The best news is that we can all expect to live longer. WHO statistics state that the population of those aged 80 and above is greatly increasing. Women have it best, as they can expect to live six to eight more years than men.