Chapter 14 Life’s Transitions: The Aging Process
AGING: The process of growing old – IT WILL HAPPEN to YOU !!!! • In 1975 Þ 350 million people over 60 years • In 2050 Þ 1.1 billion over 60 years PERCEPTION: HOW YOU VIEW PEOPLE OLDER THAN YOU
Studying Aging Connotations: • A negative psychological shift. Western cultural views are different from others • GERONTOLOGY: The study of aging. • GERONTOLOGIST: One who studies aging.
Why study the effects of aging? (5 reasons): • biology of aging (genetic and environmental factors associated with aging) • shift in survival and life expectancy has itself driven the inquiry about the social implications • medical science documents the diseases of old age and attempts to moderate their effects
Aging • health care costs of an older society • psychologists attempting to understand the negative attitudes toward the elderly
The Changing Face of the Nation • Baby Boomers approaching retirement. • Elderly are living longer - combination of modern medicine and lifestyle related factors = age 115 years
Changing Face of the Nation • higher quality of life - therefore older people are a major social, political and economic factor in society. • Changing demographics also reflected in fact that not as many children are being born in first world countries.
TYPES OF AGING: BIOLOGICAL: • physical changes with time • relative age – condition of organs / body systems • arthritis / osteoporosis / accelerate aging process
PSYCHOLOGICAL adaptive capacity = • coping abilities intelligence • individual capabilities • self-efficacy • biological • social changes
SOCIAL • habits and roles relative to society’s expectations • people sharing common interests • changes in person's familial, occupational and social roles (retirement, loss of income, etc.)
Legal chronological age driving drinking ( not together !) voting old age security Canada Pension Plan
Functional: • how people compare at similar ages…….. • health • capacity • activity • interests • mobility
THE AGING PROCESS: a function of three factors: True aging (also called primary aging): • unavoidable result of chronology that affects all species sooner or later Disease processes (secondary aging) • aging due to diseases, such as trauma, illness, stress, etc.; lifestyle can be classified in this factor (smoking)
THE AGING PROCESS: a function of three factors: Disuse phenomena (secondary aging) • aging due to the lack of activity (Sedentary Lifestyle)
THEORIES ON AGING Biological: • the wear and tear theory– “ It’s Not the Years.., It’s the Mileage” • the human body simply wears out • some activities may predispose this condition (running)
THEORIES ON AGING • the cellular theory – limited number of cells / capacity to reproduce / once exhausted body begins to deteriorate / varies from individual to individual • the autoimmune theory– declining immune system / loses control attacking body
THEORIES ON AGING • the genetic mutation theory –the older you are the more mutant cells develop/ function differently than intended / dysfunction of body organs + systems
Physical Changes The Skin: • (30’s)thinner + loses elasticity /(40’s) lines on the face / • (50’s) crow’s feet /(60’s) loses colour + sags / (70’s) age spots etc. Bones and Joints: • constantly changing accumulating and losing minerals (modeling) • 30’ and 40’s – net loss of minerals – could lead to osteoporosis
Physical Changes OSTEOPOROSIS: • loss of bone material / bone mass • post-menopausal women • fractures common • very debilitating • risk factors: calcium, lack of exercise, lack of estrogen therapy post-menopause
Physical Changes The Head: • features of the head enlarge ( nose, ears, head - skull thickens) Brain shrinks The Urinary Tract: • urinary incontinence • individual • treatable - drug therapy
Physical Changes Heart and Lungs: • Resting Heart Rate stays about the same throughout life • stroke volume decreases • heart muscle deterioration • Vital Capacity decreases (max. inhalation + exhalation) • exercise slows these changes
Eyesight: • 30 years of age – lens harden • 40 years of age – lens: yellow and looses transparency • Cataracts – (clouding of the lens) / focus on retina / blurred vision / blindness possible • glaucoma – ( increased pressure within the eyeball) • hardening of the eyeball , impaired vision, eventual blindness
Hearing and Taste Hearing: • range diminishes / normal and conversational retained Taste: • age 30 – each papilla has 245 taste buds - # diminishes over time • age 70 – 88 remaining • Smell and Touch: • pain and tactile sensors decline • sense of smell also declines / may lead to malnutrition ( food lacks appeal)
Getting Around and body Comfort Mobility: • 50% of older Canadians Report some disability related to mobility or agility Body Comfort: • loss of body fat / thinning of epithelium / diminished glandular function • body temperature • hypothermia / heat stroke / heat exhaustion
Mental Changes: Intelligence: • unchanged - except for illness • continue to learn and develop (time?) • compensate with practical knowledge Memory: • short-term can be memory - affected • long-term unchanged
Coping with Change Flexibility vs. Rigidity: • LIFE = diverse joys, sorrows, and obstacles –developed coping methods Depression: • most adults continue to lead healthy, fulfilling lives • however, depression is the most common
Confusion and Frustration Senility: • over-generalization • misinterpreted as senility = memory failure / judgment error / disorientation / erratic behaviours…….. (any age!)
Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias Dementias – progressive brain impairments that interfere with memory and intellectual functioning
ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE The disease most dreaded by the elderly is dementia; loss of mental functions in an alert individual, characterized by group of symptoms : • memory loss • loss of language functions • inability to think abstractly • inability to care for oneself • personality change • emotional instability • loss of sense of time
ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE • three quarters (75%) dementia’s caused by Alzheimer's disease - chronic, degenerative dementing illness / cause unknown • no known cure to stop the progression • 6% of people over 65 years have Alzheimer's disease • Alzheimer's disease 4th leading cause of death - older adults • < seventy conditions can cause dementia
Types of Dementia: • Degenerative = Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's. • Vascular dementia: cerebral embolisms, blood clots, and infarctions. • Traumatic dementia: head injuries. • Lesions: tumors, hematomas, and cancers. • Toxic dementia: alcohol, poisons. • Others: epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorders, and heat stroke.
THEORIES OF AGING: • Brain size & longevity • Biological clock determines how long we live. • Disposable soma: Allocation of resources - optimal is as little as possible to body repair, and more to other functions. • Wear and tear: Accumulated damage leads to breakdown - like a machine!
Genes and Aging • Genetic theories: Loss of genetic info. over time = loss of protein to rebuild. • Immunological: Breakdown of immune system. • Others: Error accumulation, cell loss, nutritive, environment, and brain chemistry.
AGEISM • discrimination • stereotyping - generalization of characteristics - + / - without knowing the individual • concept of young or old • healthy or unhealthy • value youth, devalue old age • western culture vs. other cultures respectwisdom of elderly
DEATH AND DYING • THANATOLOGY: the study of death and dying. • PSYCHOLOGY: fascination yet denial in western society. • people not prepared! • DEATH - a process, not a point in time
KUBLER ROSS: STAGES OF DYING (5): • Dying person may experience several intense emotions. DENIAL: • "No, not me!" • patient rejects the news • initial positive defense mechanism but can become a problem if reinforced by family and friends, leading to poor coping.
ANGER ANGER: • "Why me?" • resentment and rage over impending death; • may be directed outwards at loved ones.
BARGAINING acknowledgement but……... try to bargain with GOD in this stage e.g Exchange recovery promise to be a better person
DEPRESSION: • gradual realization of consequences • difficult time - persons needs to be watched and supported • a period of grieving must be allowed to work through this stage • trying to cheer up isn’t an asset now!
ACCEPTANCE • “I’m scared but, I'm ready." • These stages may overlap and repeat.
DEFINITION OF DEATH: Spiritual death: • death of meaningful life • including responsiveness to others, with activity of the brain and consciousness ALSO: Unreceptive and unresponsive to painful stimuli - CPR • No movement for an hour • No breathing for 3 minutes • No reflexes • Pupils fixed and dilated - flat EEG • LIFE SIGNS………………..
DEFINITION OF DEATH: Traditional legal definition: • failure of heart and lungs = functional death. Modern medicine: • brain death = absence of electrical impulse activity in the brain (EEG). Cellular death: • Cells die- e.g., heart, brain, muscle
CIRCUMSTANCES OF DEATH • Death at/or before 50 years of age or younger emotional trauma – unexpected • Religious belief = less fear • Pain and physical distress. • Immediately prior to death there is often an increased in vitality • People often "hold on" for a specific life event or person