Being aware of the changes related to the ageing

Unit 5


Person´s ageing is a very complex phenomenon and a part of our life, but it is not an homogeneous process because it depends on different factors such as the context where the person grew up, the gender, culture or educational and economic level.

There are many existing approaches around the concept and process of ageing. For example, the process of ageing might be defined from biological perspectives (the vital parts of cells and tissues wear out and provoke the ageing), but also it can be tackled from a psychosocial approach (some theories hold that elderly people are gradually taken away from the community life and from their social contacts; and others hold that ageing and the evolutionary change are seen as ongoing processes experienced  throughout life).

Ageing produces systemic alterations when it comes to the point that most of the organs and tissues decrease its activity. These alterations might include the reduction of flexibility, the loss of cells, the hardening of the blood vessels and the overall decrease of the muscle tone. Diverse causes have been associated with this deterioration such as those of genetic nature, changes in the cell metabolic activity or in the biochemical processes, hormonal alterations and environmental conditions. Several mentioned are alterations that happen in the different systems because of the ageing process.

Ageing adults with intellectual disabilities (AAWID) present specific health features and higher incidence of certain health conditions which require an early identification. It has been proved that adults with intellectual disabilities experience, with higher frequency than people without disabilities, health and cardiovascular problems, thyroid dysfunctions, gastrointestinal tract anomalies, sleep apnoea, diabetes and obesity, among other pathologies. Besides, other individual factors such as the degree of mobility and the level of intellectual disability can also affect to the health status. That is why the WHO points out that health is the result of several factors than go beyond the individual and biological level.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge Skills

The concept of ageing

  1. To understand the meaning of ageing.
  2. To learn the most important characteristics of ageing.

The concept of ageing.

  1. To learn the most important consequences of ageing.
  2. To be able to identify the changes produced over time.

To recognize the physical changes associated to ageing.

  1. To identify the physical differences between young and elderly people.

To know healthy methods and activities associated to ageing.

  1. To identify which activities can slow down the ageing process.

To learn the psychosocial changes associated with ageing.

  1. To learn to anticipate beforehand the psychosocial changes and how to improve the negative one.

Other units

Unit 1

Getting ready to adapt/change your home. Move to another place.

Unit 2

Adapting equipment and assistive technology

Unit 3

Budget management: less income, new priorities.

Unit 4

Optimizing health: exercises, healthy life style

Unit 6

Safety: prevention of abuse