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Late adulthood is characterized as the period of life from age 60 until death. There is a great deal of diversity among individuals with respect to the changes that occur during this period of life. Some people will become more active and interested in contributing whereas others become less active and more withdrawn. Changes in this period of life are frequently a reaction to the process of aging itself. There is frequently a fear of losing one's autonomy.
Physical changes that occur include a thinning and whitening of the hair, loss of skin elasticity, and a thinning of cartilage in the spine. The brain also shrinks. Positively, motor reaction time increases; however, basic tasks take longer than they once used to (ex. getting dressed). Sensory functions become less sensitive, and vision and hearing abilities decrease. Cognitively there is a decline in overall memory ability.
For more information, there is a very detailed document linked to in the references.
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