Ageing is the loss of physiological functions necessary for survival and fertility over time. It is a unique journey for all individuals and growing older is not necessarily associated with disease.
However, the incidence, prevalence, morbidity, and mortality of many diseases, increases with age and the ability to age without the onset of disease is rare. Age-associated diseases are chronic, or acute, and related to long-term degenerative processes. Examples include dementia, osteoporosis, cancer, and coronary heart disease.
Every older adult experiences chronic illness differently. The presence and severity of symptoms, and the older adults ability to cope with their condition differs based on life experience, social and emotional support networks, and the strategies they develop to cope with daily living.
This module describes some of the most common pathological conditions associated with ageing. It is suitable for all nurses and assistants in nursing working with older people.
At the end of this module participants will be able to: