Usually defined as the process of growing old and the study of old age (i.e. GERONTOLOGY). However, ageing is a lifelong business.
It is generally accepted that HEREDITY plays an important part in determining length of life and perhaps also the quality of health in old age. Other important factors influencing the experience of ageing may be the SELF-IMAGE formed in early life, which helps shape one's behaviour and attitudes at different ages, and early conceptions of what being old is, or should be, like.