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Aging and the Elderly


... illnesses and life-threatening conditions rise steadily ... of those over 65 report good ... Different opportunities and access to social resources, creating ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Aging and the Elderly

Aging and the Elderly
Graying of United States
  • Seniors now 12.4 percent of the population
  • Soon, baby boomers (born after WWII-mid-60s)
    will number 75 million
  • The elderly populations of rich nations is
    increasing most rapidly
  • By 2030
  • 20 percent will be over age 65
  • About half the population will be over the age of

Aging Population Increase
  • Birth rate going down
  • Decreased infant mortality
  • Children are a major expense
  • Advances in birth control
  • Life expectancy going up
  • Improved housing, nutrition and increased wealth
  • Medical advances
  • Almost eliminated infectious diseases
  • Treat cancer and heart disease

Sociological Impact
  • Cultural change
  • Elderly more visible
  • Young-old and old-old
  • Younger elderly 65-75
  • Independent with good health and financial
  • Older elderly past age 75
  • Dependent on others
  • Over age 85 fastest growing segment
  • Women outnumber men

Biological Changes
  • Gerontology
  • Study of aging and the elderly
  • Attitude toward aging depends on societal values
  • In America, a dim view of such changes is taken
  • Physical changes
  • Predictable graying of hair, wrinkles, loss of
    height and weight, decline in strength and
    vitality and sensory changes
  • Odds of chronic illnesses and life-threatening
    conditions rise steadily
  • Reality we overestimate physical problems
  • A majority of those over 65 report good health
  • Well-to-do people have it better since they can
    afford preventive care

Psychological Changes
  • Advancing age does not mean certain impairment of
    mental abilities
  • Some research reports increases in math and
    verbal skills
  • Personality changes
  • The elderly can become more introspective
  • More self-awareness
  • Major shifts in personalities do not normally
    take place

Aging and Culture
  • The significance of growing old varies according
    to culture
  • Age stratification
  • Unequal distribution of wealth, power and
    privilege among people at different stages of the
    life course
  • Hunting and gathering societies
  • Pastoral, horticultural and agrarian societies
  • Industrial and postindustrial societies

Transitions and Challenges of Aging
  • Finding meaning
  • Social isolation
  • Retirement
  • Aging and poverty
  • Care giving
  • Ageism
  • The elderly a minority?

Finding Meaning
  • Erikson resolve a tension of integrity vs.
  • Neugarten studied people in their 70s
  • Personality type
  • Disintegrated and disorganized
  • Passive-dependent
  • Defended
  • Integrated
  • Successful aging lies in maintaining dignity and
    self-confidence and accepting advancing age

Social Isolation
  • Isolation is common among elderly
  • Retirement, limited mobility, and negative
    stereotypes close off sources of social
  • Death of significant others
  • Three-fourths of widows and widowers cite
    loneliness as serious problem
  • Older people value independence
  • Family members are major source of social
  • Daughters more than sons

  • Work is an important part of personal identity
  • To minimize loss of prestige
  • New activities and interests
  • Volunteer work can fill time voids
  • Part-time work can offer additional monies
  • Retirement is a recent idea in industrialized
    societies occurring within the last century
  • When or whether we retire
  • While not mandatory, 83 of men and 91 of women
    are no longer in the labor force at age 65 in the
    united states

  • Home mortgage is usually paid off, some costs
    rise for the elderly
  • Medical care, household help and utilities
  • Social security is the major source of income
  • Those elderly who fall below the poverty line at
    age 65 equals 9.8 of U.S. Population
  • Median individual income for women is 11,789 and
    men 20,527

Care Giving
  • Informal and unpaid care provided to a dependent
    person by family members, other relatives, or
  • 80 of caregivers are family members, daughters
    make up 75
  • Married, with children and a job
  • Elder abuse

Elder Abuse
  • From passive neglect to active torment
  • In many forms verbal, emotional, financial and
  • More than one million a year, severe abuse
  • Major causes
  • Sandwich generation stress
  • Caregiver works fulltime, cares for young
    children and is poor
  • Caregiver feels little affection for elder, finds
    them difficult and has little support from others

  • Prejudice and discrimination against the elderly
  • Blatant ageism
  • Deny people due to age
  • Subtle ageism
  • Ways which culture perpetuates stereotypes of the
  • Negative images and jokes
  • Should the elderly be given minority group

Theoretical Perspective
  • Structural-functionalism
  • Disengagement theory
  • Society enhances its orderly operation by
    disengaging people from positions of
    responsibility as they reach old age
  • Symbolic interaction
  • Activity theory
  • A high level of activity enhances personal
    satisfaction in old age
  • Social conflict
  • Inequality based on age categories
  • Different opportunities and access to social
    resources, creating a system of age stratification

Death and Dying
  • Historical patterns of death
  • Modern separation of life and death
  • Ethical issues confronting death
  • Death occurs when an irreversible state takes
  • Right to die debate
  • Living wills
  • Euthanasia

Stages of Death
  • 1. Denial
  • 2. Anger
  • 3. Negotiation
  • 4. Resignation
  • 5. Acceptance

  • Time of profound grief and social disorientation
    that persist for some time
  • Experts agree that how a family and friends view
    an impending death affects the person who is
  • Hospice movement
  • Bereavement is less intense for someone who
    accepts the death of the loved one and their
    relationship has reached a satisfactory resolution

The Future
  • Increasing numbers
  • By 2050, more elderly than people in the U.S.A.
    In 1900
  • Need to review support services for the elderly
  • Availability and sufficiency
  • The elderly should experience a better quality of
  • Medical technology
  • Financial strength
  • Changes in how death is viewed
  • Death will again become a natural part of the
    life cycle no longer social taboo