Article Information


Dmitry Rogozin (e-mail:

Institute of Social Analysis and Forecasting, RANEPA, Moscow, Russia

Citation: Rogozin D. (2018) Chto delat' so stareyushchim telom? [What do we have to do with an ageing body?] Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 21(2): 133–164 (in Russian).

Full Text (PDF)

Abstract. The article presents the results of the all-Russian survey of people over 65 years old. The survey was conducted in July 2017. A total of 2,000 people were interviewed, 1120 of which, or 56%, are the elderly ones, and 880, or 44%, are the family members with whom we were talking about their elderly relatives. The author describes the features of an ageing body related to (1) difficulties and discomforts, (2) mobility, (3) intimate practices and (4) hygiene, body care, as well as its and the urgent need for care and attention to one's body and the corporality of ageing relatives. Old age is a period of recognition of instability and integrity of the physical and spiritual, the period of awareness of purpose and expediency of anyone’s life. Old age is a gift that you need to learn to use, learn to reflect without betraying yourself and your body, without depriving yourself of embodiement. Despite the age of any person, his/her body needs not only attention and care, but also love. Only due to the presence of the latter we may talk about meaningful aging, acceptance of old age. To grow up, grow old, get on in years means to be in harmony with oneself, to take place in this world, to find one's destiny. Therefore, the main answer to the question of what to do with the ageing body is to learn to love and not turn away from the body, not to betray one's intimacy, to be in motion. The latter is the main sign of life, positive tone, subjective well-being. It is not so important what one have to do to be mobile. Some people can go for a short walk or do exercises, others go to the country and travel to the sea annually. The very fact of physical displacements is important. Active ageing is regular movement against pain and despondency, but not a gift of fate or fortune.

Keywords: gerontology, health, intimacy, problems with hearing, sight and movement, sex, sociology of aging, mobility, corporality


Anisimov V.N. (2006) «Medicina anti-starenija»: mify, real'nost', perspektivy [Anti-aging medicine: Myths, reality, perspectives]. Klinicheskaja gerontologija [Clinical Gerontology], 12(12): 51–56 (in Russian).

Anisimov V.N. (2005) Starenie i associirovannye s vozrastom bolezni [Aging and age related illness]. Klinicheskaja gerontologija [Clinical Gerontology], 11(1): 42–49 (in Russian).

Barinov A.N., Ahmedzhanova L.T., Mahinov K.A. (2014) Bol' i starenie: osobennosti lechenija pozhilyh pacientov [Pain and aging: features of treatment of elderly patients]. Farmateka [Pharmacy], 20: 39–49 (in Russian).

Battaglia D. (red.) (2015) Sila vozrasta: Uroki starenija dlja semej i molodezhi [Strength of age: Aging lessons for families and youth] / рer. s ital. [Translated from Italian] O. Uvarovoj, M. Chelincevoj, S. Fajn. St Petersburg: Aleteya (in Russian).

Chapman C.R., Casey K.L., Dubner R., Foley K.M., Gracely R.H., Reading A.E. (2008) Pain measurement: An overview. Pain, 22(1): 1–31.

Crooks V.C., Lubben J., Petitti D.B. et al. (2008) Social network, cognitive function, and dementia incidence among elderly women. American Journal of Public Health, 98: 1221–1227.

Daoust R., Paquet J., Piette E., Sanogo K., Bailey B., Chauny J.-M. (2016) Impact of age on pain perception for typical painful diagnoses in the emergency department. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 50(1): 14–20.

Dilman V.M. (1987) Chetyre modeli mediciny [Four models of medicine]. London: Medicina [Medicine] (in Russian).

Field B., Cochrane T., Davey R. et al. (2017) Walking up to one hour per week maintains mobility as older woman age: Findings from an Australian Longitudinal Study. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 25(2): 269–276.

Gavrilov L.A., Gavrilova N.S. (2006) Reliability theory of aging and longevity. In: Masoro E.J., Austad S.N (eds.) Handbook of the biology of aging 6th ed. San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press: 3–42.

Gott M. (2005) Sexuality, sexual health and ageing. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Gunn D.A, Rexbye H., Griffiths C.E.M., Murray P.G., Fereday A., Catt S.D. et al. (2009) Why some women look young for their age. PLoS ONE, 4(12). e8021.

Hirsch J.A., Winters M., Clarke P.J. et al. (2017) The influence of walkability on broader mobility for Canadian middle aged and older adults: An examination of walk score (Tm) and the mobility over varied environments scale (MOVES). Preventive Medicine, 95: 60–67.

Jadoon S., Karim S., Asad M.H. et al. (2015) Anti-aging potential of phytoextract loaded-pharmaceutical creams for human skin cell longetivity. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity [] (accessed: 29.12.2017).

Keller M.L., Leventhal H., Prohaska T.R., Leventhal E.A. (1989) Beliefs about aging and illness in a community sample. Research in Nursing and Health, 12(4): 247–255.

Krueger K.R., Wilson R.S., Kamenetsky J.M. et al. (2009) Social engagement and cognitive function in old age. Experimental Aging Research, 35: 45–60.

Lagergren M., Johnell K., Schon P. et al. (2017) Towards a postponement of activities of daily living dependence and mobility limitations: Trends in healthy life years in old age in Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 45(5): 520–527.

Lautenbacher S., Peters J.H., Heesen M. (2017) Age changes in pain perception: A systematic-review and meta-analysis of age effects on pain and tolerance thresholds. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 75: 104–113.

Lebedev A.A., Puzin S.N., Potapov V.N. Shurgaja M.A. (2014) Ot gerontologii k medicine antistarenija [From gerontology to anti-aging medicine]. Mediko-social'naja jekspertiza i reabilitacija [Medicine-social expertize and rehabilitation], 2: 4–6 (in Russian).

Lind C. [Rev.] Westwood S. (2016) Ageing, gender and sexuality: Equality in later life. Routledge. Journal of Law and Society, 44(4): 709–714.

McDowell I. (2006) Measuring health: a guide to rating scales and questionnaires. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mikhaylova A.V. (2009a) Vlijanie medikalizacii na zdorov'e pozhilyh ljudej [Medicalization influence on the health of elderly persons]. Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo universiteta. Sociologija [Bulletin of the St. Petersburg University. Sociology], 2–1: 130–140 (in Russian).

Mikhaylova A.V. (2009b) Social'no-medicinskie aspekty razvitija servisov dlja pozhilyh [Socio-medical aspects of services development for the elderly]. Zhurnal sociologii i socialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 12(2): 197–204 (in Russian).

Minichiello V., Plummer D., Loxton D. (2004) Factors predicting sexual relationships in older people: An Australian study. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 23(3): 125–130.

Motnaga W., Carlisle K. (1979) Structural changes in aging human skin. Journal of Investigative Dermatoloty, 73(1): 47–53.

Mottram S., Peat G., Thomas E. et al. (2008) Patterns of pain and mobility limitation in older people: Cross-sectional findings from a population survey of 18,497 adults aged 50 years and over. Quality of Life Research, 17(4): 529–539.

Nizamova A.N. (2016) Aktivnoe dolgoletie i vneshnij vid: kak teoreticheskaja koncepcija reguliruet samovosprijatie v starshem vozraste? [Active Ageing and Outward Appearance: How Do Theoretical Conceptions Affect Self-Perception in Old Age?] Zhurnal issledovanij social'noj politiki [The Journal of Social Policy Studies], 14(4): 569–582 (in Russian).

Porcheron A., Mauger E., Russell R. (2013) Aspects of facial contrast decrease with age and are cues for age perception. PLoS ONE, 8(3). e57985.

Pristrom M.S., Pristrom S.L., Semenenkov I.I. (2015) Starenie fiziologicheskoe i prezhdevremennoe: Sovremennyj vzgljad na problem [Aging physiological and premature: a modern view of the problem]. Medicinskie novosti [Medical News], 2: 36–45 (in Russian).

Ramos-e-Silva M., Carneiro S. (2007) Elderly skin and its rejuvenation: Products and procedures for the aging skin. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 6: 40–50.

Reid M.C., Henderson Ch.R., Trachtenberg M.A. et al. (2017) Implementing a pain self-management protocol in home care: A cluster-randomized pragmatic trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 65(8): 1667–1675.

Robert L., Labat-Robert J., Robert A.-M. (2009) Physiology of skin aging. Pathologie Biologie, 57(4): 336–341.

Rogozin D.M. (2015) Sem' urokov hristianskogo starenija. [Seven lessons of Christian aging] Teleskop: zhurnal sociologicheskih i marketingovyh issledovanij [Telescope: The Journal of sociological and marketing research], 5: 46–53 (in Russian).

Rowntree M.R., Zufferey C. (2015) Need or right: sexual expression and intimacy in aged care. Journal of Aging Studies, 35: 20–25.

Santoni G., Angleman S., Welmer A.K. et al. (2015) Correction: Age-related variation in health status after age 60. PLoS ONE, 10(6). e0130024.

Savvas S.M., Gibson S.J. (2015) Pain management in residential aged care facilities. Australian Family Physician, 44(4): 198–203.

Savvas S.M., Gibson S.J. (2016) Overview of pain management in older adults. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, 32(4): 635–650.

Silberschmidt S., Kumar,A., Raji M.M., Markides K., Ottenbacher K.J., Al Snih S. (2017) Life-space mobility and cognitive decline among Mexican Americans aged 75 years and older. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 65(7): 1514–1520.

Silverberg N., Silverberg L. (1989) Aging and the skin. Postgraduate Medicine, 86(1): 131–141.

Smolkin A.A. (2007) Medicinskij diskurs v konstruirovanii obraza starosti [Medical discourse in the construction of the image of old age]. Zhurnal sociologii i socialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 10(2): 134–141 (in Russian).

Sousa A.C., Marchand A., Garcia A. et al. (2017) Cortisol and physical performance in older populations: Findings from the international mobility in aging study (IMIAS). Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 71: 50–58.

Sun F., Norman I.J., While A.E. (2013) Physical activity in older people: A systematic review. BMC Public Health, 13: 449–466.

Thomas W.H., Blanchard J.M. (2009) Moving beyond place: Aging in community. Generations — Journal of the American Society of Aging, 33(2): 12–17.

Tobin D.J. (2017) Introduction to skin aging. Journal of Tissue Viability, 26(1): 37–46.

Trofimova T. (2014) Poltora chasa s prishhepkoj na nosu: Perevodchik nelegal'nogo video Andrej Gavrilov o kinopotoke 90-h i osobennostjah podpol'nogo perevoda [An hour and a half with a clothes pin on the nose: Interpreter of illegal video Andrei Gavrilov on the film flow of the 1990s and features of illegal translation]. Colta [ ] (accessed: 23.12.2017) (in Russian).

Westwood S. (2016) Ageing, gender and sexuality: Equality in later life. London: Routledge.

Zhurilova N.V., Sokoreva I.E. (2006) Mediko-pravovoe obespechenie geriatricheskoj pomoshhi naseleniju [Medico-legal provision of heriotric care for the population]. Medicinskaja sestra [Nurse], 6: 5–6 (in Russian).