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Normal Physical Changes in The Aged

The Changes in an elderly is quite evident. Physical changes do appear.


The physical changes in the integumentary system or the skin is one of the most significant changes that are very much evident for the aged since the skin is a visible structure of the human body.  The integumentary system is composed of the skin, hair, and nails. 

There are many physiologic changes that occurs as a human being starts to age the end result is evident to elderly clients. As the changes in the physical appearance occur, there is also a decrease in the physical functioning of the elderly client. The changes is summed up in the table below.

Physiologic change

Physical Result

  • Decreased Vascularity of the dermis
  • Decreased amount of Melanin
  • Decreased sebaceous and sweat gland function
  • Decreased subcutaneous fat
  • Decreased thickness of the Epidermis
  • Localized pigmentation (liver spots)
  • Increased capillary Fragility(because there in aging skin becomes more thinner and fragile
  • Decreased density of hair growth
  • Decreased rate of nail growth
  • Decreased peripheral circulation.
  • Increased androgen/estrogen
  • Diminished eye sight
  • Lessened Hearing
  • Increased pallor in white skin
  • Decreased hair color (graying of hair)
  • Increased dry skin and decreased perspiration.
  • Increased wrinkling
  • Increased susceptibility to trauma
  • Increased incidence of brown patches (senile lentigo or liver spots on areas often exposed to UV radiation from the sun)
  • Increased purple patches (senile purpura)
  • Decreased amount of thickness of hair on head and body.
  • Increased brittleness of nails.
  • Increased longitudinal ridges of nails; increased thickening and yellowing of nails.
  • Increased facial hair in women
  • Increased Risk for injury
  • Decreased capacity for effective communication
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