Old age consists of ages nearing or surpassing the average life span of human beings, and thus the end of the human life cycle. Old people have limited regenerative abilities and are more prone to disease, syndromes, and sickness than other adults. The medical study of the aging process is gerontology, and the study of diseases that afflict the elderly is geriatrics
The boundary between middle age and old age cannot be defined exactly because it does not have the same meaning in all societies. People can be considered old because of certain changes in their activities or social roles. Examples: people may be considered old when they become grandparents, or when they begin to do less or different work - retirement.
Physical Changes
There is often a general physical decline, and people become less active. Old age can cause, amongst other things:
  • Wrinkles and liver spots on the skin
  • Change of hair colour to gray or white
  • Hair loss
  • Lessened hearing
  • Diminished eyesight
  • Slower reaction times and agility
  • Reduced ability to think clearly
  • Difficulty recalling memories
  • Depressed mood
  • Lessening or cessation of sex, sometimes because of physical symptoms such as erectile dysfunction in men, but often simply a decline in libido
  • Greater susceptibility to bone diseases such as osteoarthritis