One becomes older, trying not to age
But in trying so hard
We waste our days in our throats
And on our hands the dusk,
Aging, or senescence, is the group of morphological and physiological changes that appear as a result of the effect that time has on living things. It involves the reduction in the adaptability of each and every organ and organ system, as well as a reduction in our response to damaging external factors.
The process of aging begins after the initial growth period of the first 20 years of life. The period between 20 and 40 years is a plateau where the process of aging is slow, and our body maintains itself on the resources accumulated in the initial years.
True aging really begins from 40 onward, and is dependent on each individual’s lifestyle and care during that period. In legal terms, a person is considered “old” at the age of 65. However, practically speaking, aging begins in our 20s and 30s and signs of aging begin to show up during our 30s and 40s.
All living things age; aging is a universal phenomenon, like death. However the rate of aging is varied, as is each individual’s life expectancy, and these factors can be controlled more easily than we thought.
Knowing how to age properly is an art form that few know how to do well. Our life philosophy and everything it entails is harder to confront when we age. However, we have to underline that aging is a dynamic, universal, individual and irreversible process. Aging is inevitable and irreversible because it’s determined by time. However, it can be prevented, delayed, slowed down and even reverted when the deterioration is produced by lack of proper care, lack of information, nutritional deficiencies, damaging life styles and other environmental factors.
Most mature individuals (between 35 and 50 years) want to conserve their vitality and youth. Everyone is reaching for the same goal: to live a longer, more productive life with better quality. People often confuse the concept of age with that of longevity. Generally speaking, people are not afraid of age, they’re afraid of disability, disease, poverty and loneliness.
Research on aging has typically centered on health, but the concept of functional ability has recently garnered greater attention. The functional abilities of the elderly are crucial in allowing them to carry out day-to-day activities; this in turn affects their quality of life. Scientists are saying that in order to be blessed with good health, the elderly necessarily require the following: good physical health, economic security, love, and respect, and to avoid isolation and loneliness.
Aging is not a disease. The drama in aging lies not in being old, but in having been young. Aging is more than feeling though. It requires a degree of realism about the decline and the acknowledgement of the new perspectives offered by age.
Dr. Linda Noemi Betancourt Quintero
Aesthetic medicine and aging