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Chapter 19

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Chapter 19

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  1. Chapter 19 Stress and the Elderly

  2. The Elderly • People over 65 years of age in this country: • In 1900, 3 million people • In 1990, 31 million people • In 2001, 35 million people • Elderly are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population • Estimates are for 70.3 million over 65 years by year 2030

  3. Adjustments in the Later Years • Erikson (1963) identifies the “crisis” of late adulthood as acquiring a sense of integrity and fending off a sense of despair • Havighurst (1972) viewed life as a series of “developmental tasks” that one must master before moving forward

  4. Adjustments in the Later Years, cont’d • Havighurst’s six developmental tasks of the elderly: • Adjust to decreased strength and health • Adjust to retirement and decreased income • Adjust to death of spouse • Establish an affiliation with one’s age group • Meet social/civic obligations • Establish satisfactory living arrangements

  5. Positive Changes • Grandchildren • Sometimes valued for knowledge and wisdom • Free time to pursue other interests Stressors are adaptations that can have good results

  6. Exercise and the Elderly • Both male and female older adults can benefit from aerobic and strength training • Exercise helps maintain ability to live independently • Exercise reduces risk of dying from several diseases • Helps reduce blood pressure • Helps improve mood

  7. Retirement • Significant event of one’s life • Affects retirees’ families as well as themselves • Requires adjustment, must find other ways to support self-worth and status • May reduce income • Ageism becomes a reality

  8. Caregiver of Elderly • Provide care for limited seniors • May experience stress of feeling captive to the needs of the elderly • Signs are: • Denial • Anger • Social withdrawal • Anxiety • Depression • Exhaustion • Insomnia • Irritability • Lack of concentration • Health problems

  9. Death and Dying • Dying becomes a major stressor; some people don’t fear death as much as the process of dying • Table 18.1 reviews the stages of ordinary grief (White & Gathman, 1973) • Studies reveal higher mortality rates after a stressful event such as bereavement (Helsing et al., 1981)

  10. Interventions • Life-situation interventions • Perception interventions • Emotional arousal interventions • Physiological arousal interventions

  11. Chapter 19 Stress and the Elderly