What are the different aging types?

Whether we like it or not, there is one certainty in life that we are all getting older. The term aging is to some extent ambiguous. Ageing or Aging has different meaning at different stages of the life cycle. It is a multifarious and multidimensional process of biological, psychological and social change that everyone undergoes.

aging types


What are the different aging types?

Aging types can be classified in five groups depending on the activities in daily life as follows

  • Biological aging
  • Functional aging
  • Social aging
  • Psychological aging
  • Chronological aging



Biological Aging

We all know that some people grow old rapidly and others gracefully. Biological age is the gradual deterioration of the body with time and it is one of the most complex biological processes. It is determined as changes in the structure not resulting from diseases and leads to death.

Also called primary aging, this concerns many processes in the body that entail reduction in abilities. It is defined as a description of an individual’s development based on biomarkers.  Loosing fats help to reverse biological ageing.

Functional Aging

Basically it is the ability to do certain daily things. It is defined as the culmination of  all aging types and  manifested by the development and behaviors of a particular age group that are not necessarily related to the biological age of the person.

Functional age refers to a person’s level of fitness like status of cardiovascular system, ability to perform physical activities etc compared to others of same age and gender. Rather than focusing on any individual activity, it concentrates on the whole to give a clear understanding of the person with knowledge of the biological system, emotional, and logical maturity. This can also be reversed to certain extent by continuous practice.

Social Aging

Age is social conceptually constructed as the notion of age varies across the world. Different culture adds different meanings and values to same age. Social age is represented by ability to interact with others successfully to achieve common goals. The social construction of aging entails the creation of social norms, symbols and opportunities to any average member of a group to become extraordinary. This can also be reversed by continuous applications of doing  things with others.

Psychological Aging

Psychological age or mental age is defined as a combination of experience, logic and emotion. This has been attempted by many psychologists as developmental steps that each individual passes through. The process attempt to define an individual based on their thought process, how they respond to stimuli, capacity to remember and problem solving capabilities. This can also be reversed by neuroplasticity games that can change the brain and body as well including memory function.

Chronological Aging

Chronological age is defined as the number of years or revolutions of the earth around the Sun an individual has lived and all of us are very familiar with this concept.  When we are asked about the age we reply in terms of years, months and days and associate many activities like going to the kindergarten at the age of 5, power to vote at the age of 18 and retiring at the age of 60 years.  Chronological age is calculated by difference between the date of birth and the evaluation date and expressed in years, months and days. Alas! There are no ways to reverse this!

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Lakshmi Rekha

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