What Dr. Luke has to Say About the Changes Elderly People's Bodies Develop

Elderly people have many changes with there bodies which are evident to most people.  For example, they cannot walk as fast, their vision is not as good or their hearing is not as good, they get sick more often and so on.  Why is this and can anything be done to help them?

Liu Ming Jia was 79 years old and lived with her family. She lived with her daughter and her husband.  Her daughter was 52 years old.  All of her daughter's children were grown.  Her daughter had one son and one daughter.  Liu Ming Jia's husband had died seven years ago from a stroke.  Liu Ming Jia's health had been generally good though she and her daughter had talked about how in the past few years she just could not do near as much as she had done in the past.  Many of her older friends had already died and with her declining health she could not get outside to meet as many people as she had in the past.  Her daughter wondered if this was the reason that Liu Ming Jia was a bit more depressed in the past year or so, that is she just could not get out as much due to her health.  Her daughter wondered if there was something wrong with her mother's health, which could be, treated and allow mother to feel better.  They had bought in the past several years several Chinese Traditional Medicines and Herbs and had tried them.  They both thought these helped some.

Liu Ming Jia's daughter decided to take her mother to the doctor at the local hospital.  There a doctor evaluated her.  The doctor talked with Liu Ming Jia and her daughter and then asked if they could draw some blood to have some blood tests run.  Liu Ming Jia and her daughter agreed to this.  The test results were back in several days and they returned to the doctor to discuss the results.  The told them that all of the tests were normal except for one test which was slightly abnormal.  That test result showed that her thyroid gland was producing only a slightly lower amount of the hormone it normally produces.  The doctor told them that the result of this was that it might make Liu Ming Jia slightly more depressed, affect her memory a little bit, and make her a little more tired.  Certainly Liu Ming Jia had all of these things.  The doctor ordered a medicine she could take everyday, which would correct the problems of the low thyroid hormone. 

However, the doctor told Liu Ming Jia that though this medicine might help some it would not correct all of the underlying problems she had.  The doctor told Liu Ming Jia that all of her problems were related to her being older and the changes that go with being older.  Liu Ming Jia asked the doctor some questions about these changes, many of which she had wondered about.  When did these changes start, what are they and what can be done about them?

First, the doctor said that actually the changes began very slowly when she was 30 years old.  All people in the world whether Asian, European, etc start having very slow changes when they turn 30 years old.  These changes really do not start to become apparent until people reach their 40's because they happen so slowly. 

The changes happen all over the body.  But some of the more noticeable changes are as follows.  These are twelve functions, which appear to be slowly decreased over time in all people, as they grow older. First, a person has slowly increasing amounts of body fat.  This is why people 50 years of age almost always weigh more than people in there 20's.  This is also why it is more difficult for people over 30 years of age to loose weight.  Second, they have a harder time reading and either need new glasses or their current glasses changed so they can read.  Third, their hearing is decreased, especially high frequency hearing loss.  Fourth, they are more prone to developing diabetes.  This is related to people over thirty having increased body fat.  Fifth, the lungs do not work as well and this makes exercise more difficult.  Sixth, a person has more trouble with high blood pressure and heart disease.  Seventh, people's colon's activity is decreased thus they have more trouble with constipation.  Eighth, the kidneys slowly loose some of their function over time.  Ninth, both men and women have more difficulty urinating over time.  Tenth, since the muscle mass is replaced with fat the ability to exercise more decreases.  Eleventh, the bones become denser and thus break easier.  Finally twelfth, the brain atrophies some and thus memory is decreased, thinking may be slower and sleep is affected.

Thus for patients like Liu Ming Jia the accumulation of all of these changes since 30 years of age to nearly 80 years of age or nearly 50 years is that they cannot walk as well, hear, see or think as well and other things as well. 

Liu Ming Jia and her daughter asked about the depression she had.  Was this related to her growing older?  Yes and no was the answer the doctor gave to them.  As he mentioned before the thyroid gland not producing enough hormone probably made her depressed a little.  Also, because most people by her age had lost a small amount of their brain size, their thinking was affected a little bit.  Both of these tended to contribute to older people being a little more depressed.  The doctor suggested that there are some medicines, which could improve her depression.  However, Liu Ming Jia and her daughter wanted to think about this before she took this medicine. 

After Liu Ming Jia and her daughter returned home they were talking about her depression, the medicine and what to do.  A friend who knew they had gone to the doctor stopped by the house to see how the visit went.  Liu Ming Jia and her daughter told her how things had gone and how they were thinking about the medicine for depression. The friend told them a story about herself, which was very similar to Liu Ming Jia's.  The friend this year was 65 years old.  Several years ago she had gotten depressed. There were several reasons she was depressed at that time.  The doctor like Liu Ming Jia had offered her some medicines to take.  She took them for a short period of time.  However, during that time a friend told her about a way she could overcome her depression without needing medicines.  It was through having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Liu Ming Jia and her daughter were surprised at this.  How could having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ give a person relief from depression?  This sounded a bit odd.  However, the friend went onto tell them how this happened in her life.  She showed them the following verses.  It said, 'do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present our requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4.6,7).'  This was certainly a very important verse to know about.  The peace will guard our hearts and minds.  Liu Ming Jia certainly needed peace to guard her mind.  Her depression had left her quite anxious about nearly everything, money, clothes, food, everything. 

Their friend though reminded them that the peace comes through Jesus Christ.  The asked how they could have this peace?  She showed them another place in the Bible which said, 'therefore since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5.1).'  Their friend told them that our faith in Jesus Christ gives us peace with God.  This seemed very simple, in fact too simple.  Peace was very valuable and important to have. How could peace with God come so easily as just believing in Jesus Christ? Their friend told Liu Ming Jia and her daughter that yes it was easy and simple.  However, she then told them what it was they needed to believe about Jesus Christ.

They needed to believe that what they had done, that is their sins, separated them from God.  It is this separation which prevents them from having peace with God.  Just like the brain slowly shrinking over time causes the brain to not work well, our sin before God causes us to have separation from God.

In fact they went recalled what the doctor had said about Liu Ming Jia's overall health status.  It was overall good for her age.  What she needed to do more was to exercise and try to get out and do some things with some friends.  That as much as anything would help her with feeling better.  The doctor told them that she should start with very small amounts of exercise a day, that is 5 minutes of walking and slowly over several months try to increase this amount up to 30 minutes day.  If she could do this with a friend that would be very good.  She did find a friend who was able to start walking with her every day when the weather was good and their health was up to it. The friend was a lady 75 years of age.  Liu Ming Jia really enjoyed this daily walking with her friend.  Over time it helped her legs to be stronger and she had more energy to do other things, like some housework and cooking which she enjoyed doing. 

The doctor had also advised her to find some hobbies, which she was able to do by finding a place to play Chinese chess and she started to learn Tai Chi Chuan.  Both of these activities were very helpful for her depression and overall how she felt.  However, it was in the discussions with her friend about Jesus Christ where she found the most help. 

Liu Ming Jia and her daughter continued to meet with their friend to discuss the person of Jesus Christ.  The friend further explained how we are separated from God through other places in the Bible. One place said, 'The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse (Romans 1.18-20).'

Liu Ming Jia's friend explained to them that these sentences show that human beings have totally ignored God's eternal power and divine nature.  They are clearly seen and understood.  However because they have rejected them they are without excuse.  The friend went on to say that all people have done this, not only a certain few.  The Bible says, 'for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3.23).'  No one is excused from this, every person who has every lived has sinned before God and thus is separated us from God.  Liu Ming Jia wanted to know the results of this sin before God?  Their friend showed them another place in the Bible which said, 'for the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6.23).'  The payment for our sin or the result of our sin is to separate of us from.  We get a payment but the payment is death and separation from God.  But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

It is this eternal life which gives us this peace through Jesus Christ.  'How can I get this peace and gift,' Liu Ming Jia asked?  Her friend showed her another place in the Bible which showed the following, 'if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved. For it is with the heart that you believe and are justified and it is with the mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10.9,10).'  Liu Ming Jia's friend explained that this means if we confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord of the world and that is in it because he created it and because he died on the Cross to redeem the world from its sins. And if we also believe that after Jesus Christ died on the Cross-he was buried and three days later rose from the dead, you will be saved from your sins to live a life with God for eternity.  This will give you peace now and for all eternity.

Liu Ming Jia's friend asked her and her daughter if they wanted to ask Jesus Christ into their lives.  They both said yes. The said the following prayer together, 'Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I have sinned and have done wrong before you.  I know that this sin has separated me from you.  I believe that you died on the Cross-for my sins and took my sins in my place.  I believe that after you died on the Cross-you were buried and three days later rose again to show you victory over sin and death.  I ask you to come into my life to save me from my sins.'  Liu Ming Jia and her daughter prayed this prayer and received the peace they wanted through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  You to can pray this prayer and have eternal life through Jesus Christ.