Interview of the older adult
For this work I decided to describe a woman at the age of 63. For convenience’s sake I’ll call her Martha. She has normal constitution and doesn’t have bad habits (like smoking) or serious problems with health. Martha has technical education and worked in the specialty after graduation. She changed several jobs after it. The woman is still working in an educational institution. Before it she worked as a tailor for about 10 years. Today Martha also sews, but it’s just a hobby now. She is married for more than 40 years and has two adult children. Martha had a menopause, but it didn’t cause serious physical or psychological changes. She leads an active lifestyle and participates in household actions. Family lives in the city, but has a plot, which people visit almost every week by car. So Martha often does garden work. She likes to read and can use a computer. Woman already mentioned some age changes and highlighted three of them: reduction in vision, problems with joints and varicose veins.
Martha has Presbyopia or age-related farsightedness. That means she sees long-distance object better than closer one. “Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the crystalline lens of the eye begins to harden and lose flexibility, making it difficult to focus on objects up close” (docshop.com, 2015). It often appears around the age of 40. Experts call Presbyopia a normal part of aging, but in Martha’s case there also were several factors that provoked changes. As a young woman she had really good sight. Martha believes that one of the reasons it became worse was conjunctivitis. She got it after a continuous paper work and contact with paper dust at the age of 40. Several years of sewing also played serious role. Martha spent many evening hours looking at the tinny seams, needles and inner parts of sewing machine. Continuous eyes strain caused the decreasing “of the lens’ ability to flatten and thicken, which it must do to focus on close objects” (docshop.com, 2015). Martha didn't go to ophthalmologist instantly after she noticed changes. She used mother’s glasses for some time. They had inappropriate interorbital distance and it only made situation worse.
Today Martha uses own glasses. She can read, write, knit, sew and do other such jobs. But Martha really depends up her glasses. Without them she won’t see even medium font on price label, sign and other. The woman also needs better lightning and can't strain eyes for a long time.
Problems with joints
Martha’s joints became weather-sensitive with aging. Cold and high humidity cause discomfort. There weren’t significant changes in here posture or walking pattern, but she already has periodic attacks of arthritis. Disorder developed after she chilled joints many years ago. Martha didn’t seek a serious medical advice, so I can’t say what type of arthritis she has. There aren't any problems for most of the time. However, if Martha works with cold water for too long, her finger joints and wrists can inflame and swell. During this period she feels pain, stiffness and can't work with small or heavy objects. Arthritis' attack makes it difficult to write, cook, wash dishes and participate in other jobs for her. Even when everything is good, Martha sometimes feels pain because of weather and can't wear rings or tight bracelets for a long time.
Woman’s joints also wore out with aging. Sometimes she feels pain in knees and other parts of body. This can happen, because “cartilage, the smooth, rubbery connective tissue on the end of bones” (Holland, 2015) naturally deteriorated. Depending on soreness’s region it can be difficult for Martha to stand, sit, lean and other. When pain is too strong she doesn’t take part in most household actions. Woman’s joints’ also make her think more about what weight she wants to heave and how she’ll move it. In young age it was easy for Martha to bring bags from shop or market weighting about 30-35 pounds. She can do it now too, in case of need, but she’ll feel worse after it.
Martha believes this problem appeared because of her second pregnancy. During this period “the amount of blood increases to help support the developing baby Increased hormone levels during pregnancy also cause the muscular walls of the blood vessels to relax” (nhs.uk, n. d.). Martha also thinks the varicosity was inherited. Her parents didn't have it, but she believes some other here relatives had.
The woman didn’t feel any pain and noticed varicosity too late to prevent significant changes. Small one-way valves in her veins weakened and blood got opportunity to move in both directions. Liquid collected, forming enlarged and swollen areas. Most of them appeared on her calves. Basically, varicosity causes only aesthetic problems. Martha can’t wear some dresses and can feel uncomfortable on the beach. However, she doesn’t want to go under the knife and uses only pharmaceutical treatment. If Martha doesn’t take medication for too long, her legs start to pain and it can be hard for her to stand. The woman also fears that varicosity can cause thrombophlebitis. Varicose veins and age after 60 are risk factors for this disorder. There are other causes in this list, like family history, stroke’s consequences, using of some medications or longstanding immobility. But they don’t apply to Martha, who also takes drugs to prevent disorder's development.
Holland, K. (2015). Understanding Cartilage, Joints, and the Aging Process. Retrieved from http://www.healthline.com/health/osteoarthritis/understanding-aging-and-joints
“Presbyopia”. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.docshop.com/education/vision/refractive-errors/presbyopia
“Varicose veins - Causes” (n. d.). Retrieved from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Varicose-veins/Pages/Causes.aspx