In Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging: Biological and Psychosocial Perspectives, Carolyn M. Aldwin and Diane F. Gilmer undertake the challenging task of assembling an objective and holistic picture of human aging. The authors provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary coverage of the physical aspects of aging, including age-related changes and disease-related processes, the demography of the aging population, theories of aging, and the promotion of optimal aging. In addition, the book covers the psychosocial aspects of aging, including mental health, stress and coping, spirituality, and care giving in later years.   Health, Illness and Optimal Aging is recommended for researchers seeking an overview of health psychology and aging, as well as undergraduate and graduate students taking classes in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. This text is also valuable for practitioners working with the elderly in fields such as nursing, social work, occupational and physical therapy, day-care and nursing home administration, psychology, and rehabilitation.

Aging and the Regulatory Systems

Aging and the regulatory systems

In order for the organs to function properly, they must recognize changes in both the external and internal environment and be able to communicate with each other to maintain homeostasis, avert dangers, and manage growth. The regulatory systems that manage this communication are the sensory, nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Disruption in the communication among these systems plays a major role in the development of disease and in the aging process itself. Less is known about how to maintain optimal health in these systems.

Sensory System

The sensory system is composed of five senses: touch, smell, taste, hearing, and vision. Sensory organs allow the nervous system to gain information about the external environment. In the interest of brevity, ...

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