Over the Hill and Over the Moon: Women & Aging

Often facing double standards steeped in ageism and sexism, many women over 50 find themselves having to redefine themselves as they get older. The Spinster is now The Sassy Single. The Depressed Divorcee… now The Dignified Diva. The Married and Mundane… now Mature, Marvelous, and a Mrs. Yet, no matter what great title we give ourselves we find that there is something very real about getting older. 

“Age is inevitable. Aging isn’t.” Mary Levy

What is Aging?

Simply put, aging is the process of getting older. When it comes to the human life span, there are three types of aging: psychological, social, and biological. Our psychological age refers to how we feel, act, or behave with no respect to our chronological age. Social age speaks of how our social skills compare to others our age. But when it comes to aging, most of us think primarily about its biological aspects. 

In addition to chronological age, the biological age encompasses the processes of what takes place in the body as it matures. Scientifically speaking, biological aging looks at the changes in the cells and tissues that make up the body. Genetics, environmental stressors, as well as lifestyle all contribute to how the body ages biologically. 

What is interesting, the changes we endure on a cellular and molecular level are referred to as damage. In other words, as we get older there is inevitable wear and tear on our bodies that leads to both decreases in mental and physical abilities as well. 

Research shows that people are living longer. In fact, between the years 2020 and 2050, it is expected that numbers for people over the age of 60 will triple. While the numbers of elderly are increasing, the question remains: are these people thriving or merely living?

What Does It Mean to Be a Woman of a Certain Age?

When it comes to aging, there are things true for both genders. Specific to women, studies have shown that older women are likely to have more chronic, ongoing health problems than men. Older women are also more likely to develop multiple health conditions as well. While there is no definitive reason for this, chronic conditions that top the list for women are arthritis, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. If that wasn’t enough, older women are also more at risk for developing cognitive or memory problems, causing them to need assistance to carry out daily activities. 

Along with an increase in aches and pains, some clear signs of aging for women are:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Low libido
  • Mood swings
  • Irregular bleeding due to the onset of menopause
  • Breast tenderness
  • Wrinkled and sagging skin
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Increase risk for heart disease
  • Increase in the inflammatory response leading to joint pain

As women age, there are changes in various hormone levels, a decrease in the elasticity of the skin, and because there is an increased need for different medications, many women report having dental problems as well. 

While some bodily changes are inevitable, there are other factors that speed up the aging process. Smoking, stress, alcohol, and caffeine use, poor sleep habits, and poor diet can contribute to feeling the effects of aging. Also, living in areas that have high levels of toxins and pollutants can bring on changes to the cells and tissues that mimic aging.

What’s a Woman to Do? 

Even if you are feeling well and have come to terms with the different changes going on in the body, there are things older women can do to thrive after the age of 50. 

  • Keep your appointments with your medical provider. This includes being screened for health and emotional risks that increase with age.
  • Take medications and supplements consistently and as directed.
  • Eat a varied and well-balanced diet that includes healthy fats.
  • Exercise your body and brain.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene, such as getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Curtail alcohol and caffeine consumption. Some medications are negatively impacted by alcohol and caffeine use.
  • Drink plenty of water.

Desert Oasis Clinic Can Help

In addition to the tips listed above, there are services at our clinic that can help with the aging process as well. Many of our natural and holistic services are designed with symptoms that older women report in mind. Below are some therapies you may find helpful:

Whether it’s genetics, environment, lifestyle, or strictly biological, there is a Desert Oasis Clinic service to help you age gracefully and live a fulfilling life. Please give our office a call at 702-310-9350  and speak to one of our friendly staff to schedule an appointment today!

Posted in: Health Tips