Life In Old Age

A series which examines key issues in old age.

Episodes

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01Memory Loss2004030920040310

Connie St Louis investigates memory loss.

We can all forget where we've put the car keys and it gets worse as we get older, but when does normal forgetfulness with old age become a medical problem? She visits a memory clinic to learn from specialists and dementia sufferers trying to combat dementia and asks how important is it to keep doing the crossword to try and delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease?

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Connie St Louis explores what the medical profession can offer the over 60s to overcome the aches and pains and irritations.

She also asks how much of the physical effect of ageing is down to our genes and how much to the environment.

In the over 60s, creaky joints may be accompanied by the pain and the stiffness of osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis.

Connie goes to Nottingham to meet the team who have developed exercises that help arthritis patients gain back some strength without causing further damage.

As we age we gradually lose our hearing but here is often great reluctance amongst the elderly to use an aid.

A clinic in Trafford has been successful in persuading its patients that hearing aids are small, discrete and can make a great deal of difference to their lives.

Connie finds out how.

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Is retirement an exciting opportunity to do all those activities denied by long hard years of work, or a time of fear, isolation, lack of status and no sense of direction? Connie St Louis examines this land mark event confronted by most people in their 60s and finds that it is surrounded by myths that no longer hold true in the 21st Century.

She talks to scientists and retired people about the importance of social networks, loving or loathing grandchildren, finding new love and whether leaving work can be bad for our health.

04 LASTFixing The Physical Problems Of Old Age2004033020040331

Hip replacements and heart procedures, such as angioplasty and bypass surgery, are keeping the over 60s active.

Cataract operations are giving back clarity of vision and better dentistry is ensuring that more older people have their own teeth.

In the last of the series, Connie St Louis reports on how medicine can fix some of the physical problems of old age.