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Impact of Ageing Characteristics on Dietary Practices and Health Status of Older Adults in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria



 Background to the Study
 Ageing is not a disease, and getting old and getting sick are two different things. Ageing is a dignified honour for those who are lucky enough. In the early 19th century, even in the richest countries, there were fewer older people, but today, older adults form the fastest growing population group on earth (Crimmins, 2004). Each month, one million people worldwide are reaching the age of 60 years (Nakejima, 1997). By the year 2030, it is estimated that in many countries one out of every five people will be 60 years or older, and more than two-thirds of the world’s population of over 100 million older people will be living in developing countries (Truelsen, Bonita & Jamrozin, 2001). Presently, the actual age used in determining an older adult differs among researchers. Some considered an older adult at age 60 years and above (Palloni & McEniry, 2007). Others held that an older adult is one aged 65 years and over (Nutrition Insight, 1999). The United Nations World Assembly on Ageing held in Vienna in 1982, used 60 years and over as the cut-off age in deliberating ageing trends (World Health Organization - WHO, 1998a). In Australia, the country with the largest number of older people in the western world, old age commences at 60 years and old-old is 75years and over (National Institute on Ageing, 2001). Given the above facts, an older adult in the present study is considered as one aged 60 years and above. The categories of older adults are set at ten years age brackets as follows: young old 60-69years; old –old, 70-79years; and oldest old, 80 + years. No two older adults are comparable in functional ability, strength and health. They differ in the way they age, and this lends credence to the complexity of ageing process. Ageing is operationally defined as a period of time one has lived, usually counted by years, and characterized by decline in functional ability, whether in physical, social or mental dimension. It has a connotation of deterioration of vitality. Biologically, ageing is accompanied by harmful physical changes commonly described as senescence. Austaad (2002) defined senescence as the progressive deterioration of virtually every bodily function over time. The biology of senescence emphasizes that the ageing process is complex and dynamic. The human body consists of millions of cells, each with a lifespan of about two years (Eugene & Grant, 2001). Before a cell dies, it reproduces itself about fifty times. With each successive reproduction, the cell goes through some alteration, which basically causes cell deterioration. As cells deteriorate, there is corresponding decline in physiological function, particularly in organs composed entirely of post-mitotic cells, with no opportunity for repair or renewal. Typical example is the nerve cells. When they die, they cannot be replaced (Ross & Wilson, 2001). The rate of cell loss or deterioration increases with age, hence ageing is caused by degeneration of cells. Medina (2002) explained that from head to toe, from proteins to DNA, and from birth to death, untold battalions of processes unfold themselves to create the ageing of a 60-trillion- celled human.

Project detailsContents
Number of Pages160 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
Available documentPDF and MS-word format


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