NOVIEMBRE 2007 N° 9 Volumen 5

Analysing human aging by means of a real case



1Raúl Ayala Velasco, 2Inmaculada López Martín


13º curso de Diplomado Universitario en Enfermería, UEM.2Profesora de Enfermería Geriátrica de la UEM.

Contact address

C/ Gerardo Diego 7- 4º F. 39011-Santander.

Contact email: ayala.raul@gmail.com


Knowing about the changes inherent to the process of human ageing, including anatomical, functional, psychological and social changes and other social factors that directly impinge on aging, permits the identification of the natural decline caused by the passage of time in people and to differentiate aging from morbid situations. However, this differentiation is difficult to the overlapping of the manifestations of aging and the signs/symptoms of disease.
Describing the aging process in real people known to the student nurse is an experience-based learning method, a data analysis, which uses a humanistic approach, allowing the observer to become aware of the changes that take place as the body ages and identifying capacities, limitations and needs of that stage of life. The final objective is to recognise the individuality in the each of us ages.
Through the interview, observation and exploration of Mrs. Mayor, the student first describes the way in which aging occurs at a structural and organ function level in the order of body systems. Then the student goes on to describe changes at emotional and psychological level and analyses social roles (family and community) associated with the aging stage described in the case depicted.
Even though it is true that certain homogeneity in the structural and functional decline of the elderly may exist that manifests differently according to each individual, health behaviours, personality, physical and social environment and surroundings, all cause significant differences in the way each elderly individual behaves, feels and copes with aging. The analysis of Mrs Mayor makes one understand that many people “suffer a great deal” seeing how they age instead of enjoying one more stage of life.


aging process; case studyGeriatric Nursing

Versión en Español


El análisis del envejecimiento humano a través de un caso real