Aging is something that happens to all of us. In fact, the aging process begins as soon as we’re born. What you might not understand, however, are the different dynamics of the aging process. Aging is often associated with changes in physiological, biological, psychological, behavioural, environmental, and social processes.

One of the most common tell-tale signs that we’re aging is the greying of hair as a result of the body stopping its production of melanin, which works alongside pigment cells in the hair follicles.

As we age, our bones also become weaker and reduce in size which can lead to a condition known as osteoporosis (the reduction of bone mass.) Osteoporosis is quite common in seniors and puts them at an advanced risk of dangerous falls, which can cause severe injuries and even death. In fact, falls are one of the most common causes of injury-related deaths among seniors today.

The older we get, the slower the heart pumps blood. The heart also enlarges, and its walls may thicken, which blocks blood flow and can lead to things like heart attack or stroke. To improve heart health, it’s important to get regular exercise and consume a heart-healthy diet (such a lean protein, lots of fibre, as well as fruits and vegetables and whole grains.) Because malnutrition can be a problem for seniors, it’s also recommended that they take supplements.

You may also be able to notice aging by the way your skin looks. For example, it may look wrinkled, may have lost its elasticity, may appear dull in colour, have dark spots, or feel dry. While these skin changes can occur in anyone as they age, they are especially likely in those who are smokers. The best thing you can do for your skin to prevent the appearance of aging is to not only quit smoking, but drink plenty of water and use a good moisturizer. This will reduce dryness and also help to bring back the skin’s healthy glow. You can find more skincare tips from Dr. Ali Ghahary here.

If you notice a change in taste or smell, this also isn’t uncommon, as we also have a decreased reaction to stimuli as we get older. Because of this decreased reaction, however, you may develop a reduced appetite or may not smell or taste things as strongly as you once did.

As we age, the teeth also change. We become much more susceptible to cavities as we get older. This is due to the layer of protection over our teeth, known as enamel, wearing out and becoming thin. Aside from an increased risk of cavities, if you have decreased enamel then it’s also not uncommon to develop sensitive teeth. For this, dentists recommend using special toothpaste such as Pronamel or Sensodyne. Gum disease is also a risk factor that is associated with aging. Gums can be sore, bleed, or recess. To prevent gum disease it’s not only important to brush and floss regularly, but you may also find gargling with salt-water rinse to be helpful in healing sore gums, as well as using a mouth rinse. Because seniors can develop so many problems with their teeth, it’s not uncommon for them to opt to have their teeth extracted and get dentures instead. Still, just because you have dentures doesn’t necessarily mean your gum problems will go away, so you should always practice good oral hygiene regardless. Your mouth and teeth will be happier, and so will your dentist!

Last but not least – stress. Facing the prospect of aging can be difficult, and often makes us wonder how much time we have left on this earth. That being said, stress can actually increase the aging process quite significantly, as well as impact the health in a number of other different ways, so it’s important that you remain as stress-free as possible.