by Joan Calandra, RN, PhD and James F. Ross, PT, DPT, CSCS
Life expectancy of people in the United States is at a record high of 77.9 years. Women still outlive men, but the gap is narrowing. As a group, the elderly are the most rapidly growing sector of the U.S. population. Advances in healthcare, medications, and medical devices play a major part in this longevity. Understanding the complexities of each elderly patient is crucial to good care. An in-depth understanding will foster patient relationships that benefit the patient and bring satisfaction to the PT.
The purpose of this module is to help physical therapists understand the interaction of psychological and physical aspects of aging in the absence of disease. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to —
- Discuss the disease-related and age-related sexual changes for men and women.
- Describe the psychological and physical benefits that relationships provide in later life.
- Identify at least three behavior choices that promote healthy aging.