Nurse Practitioner Evangeline Reyes-Pastorella

Department of Neurosurgery, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center

Click on the button below to link to paper (pdf file)

Normal Physical Changes in Aging 

(download pdf paper above to read full article) 

1- Decrease in Physical Strength, Endurance, and Flexibility

2- Decline in Efficiency of Body Organs

    ♥ The heart becomes a less efficient pump.

    ♥ Other problems associated with heart disease can cause blood pressure to continue to rise to a point of needing medication.

    ♥ Lungs become less elastic, and do not expand as well; thus, less oxygen gets into them. Smoking makes this problem worse at a much earlier age in people that smoke versus those who do not.

    ♥ As you age, it takes longer for your kidneys to get rid of waste products. These substances tend to remain in the body for a longer period of time. This is particularly the case with medications.

    ♥ Urinary incontinence is not a normal change with aging.

    ♥ The reproductive system is affected in many ways. However, it is important to note that sex, including intercourse, continues to be pleasurable as you age. In both men and women there is a slowing sexual response, but desire should be no different than in years past.

    ♥ In women, after menopause there is decreased blood flow to the vagina, delayed vaginal lubrication, and diminished orgasm.

    ♥ Alterations in skin become very obvious early on if you have not taken care of yourself. Wrinkling is the most common and most notable. Increased wrinkling is due to a normal loss of elastic tissue, excessive sun exposure, smoking, and heredity

3- Loss of Bone Mass

4- Slower Reflexes

5- Taking Longer to Return to Equilibrium

6- Decline in the Senses

Factors Influencing Physical Aging* 

GeneticsIf you want to live a long healthy life, begin by choosing your parents well! 

LifestyleCertain habits predispose you to early aging. For instance, smoking can make your skin wrinkle, cause your eyes to droop, and give you lung cancer at an early age. Alcohol accelerates the aging of your skin, liver, heart, brain, and pancreas. 

NutritionGood eating habits and proper weight control is very important. Nutrition is the key ingredient in making all body systems work.

Medical Care:  Health maintenance practices, such as regular medical check-ups, flu shots, pneumonia vaccine, annual mammograms, pap smears, prostate checks, and checking for blood in the stool, are very important health promotion activities that help to maintain health and well-being. Taking medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider is equally important.

*Source: copied from - 

"WARNING When I Am An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple"

by Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple 
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. 
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves 
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter. 
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired 
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells 
And run my stick along the public railings 
And make up for the sobriety of my youth. 
 I shall go out in my slippers in the rain 
 And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens 
 And learn to spit. 

 You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat 
 And eat three pounds of sausages at a go 
 Or only bread and pickle for a week 
 And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats and things in boxes. 

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry 
 And pay our rent and not swear in the street 
 And set a good example for the children. 
 We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

 But maybe I ought to practice a little now? 
 So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised 
 When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Cat in the Hat on Aging