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Chapter 14

Chapter 14. Life’s Transitions: The Aging Process. LIFE’S TRANSITIONS. Old People Are Useless !. 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

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Chapter 14

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  1. Chapter 14 Life’s Transitions: The Aging Process


  3. Old People Are Useless!

  4. 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

  5. Studying Aging Connotations: • A negative psychological shift. Western cultural views are different from others • GERONTOLOGY: The study of aging. • GERONTOLOGIST: One who studies aging.

  6. Old People Should Retire So That Younger People Can Work?

  7. 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

  8. Aging • health care costs of an older society • psychologists attempting to understand the negative attitudes toward the elderly

  9. Old People Are Slow And Get In My Way!

  10. Old People Aren’t Beautiful!

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. I Will Never Get That Old!

  14. TYPES OF AGING: BIOLOGICAL: • physical changes with time • relative age – condition of organs / body systems • arthritis / osteoporosis / accelerate aging process

  15. PSYCHOLOGICAL adaptive capacity = • coping abilities intelligence • individual capabilities • self-efficacy • biological • social changes

  16. 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.)


  18. Legal chronological age driving drinking ( not together !) voting old age security Canada Pension Plan

  19. Functional: • how people compare at similar ages…….. • health • capacity • activity • interests • mobility

  20. 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)

  21. THE AGING PROCESS: a function of three factors: Disuse phenomena (secondary aging) • aging due to the lack of activity (Sedentary Lifestyle)

  22. 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)

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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)

  31. 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

  32. 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

  33. 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

  34. Confusion and Frustration Senility: • over-generalization • misinterpreted as senility = memory failure / judgment error / disorientation / erratic behaviours…….. (any age!)

  35. Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias Dementias – progressive brain impairments that interfere with memory and intellectual functioning

  36. 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

  37. 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

  38. 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.

  39. 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!

  40. 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.

  41. 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

  42. 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

  43. 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.

  44. ANGER ANGER: • "Why me?" • resentment and rage over impending death; • may be directed outwards at loved ones.

  45. BARGAINING acknowledgement but……... try to bargain with GOD in this stage e.g Exchange recovery promise to be a better person

  46. 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!

  47. ACCEPTANCE • “I’m scared but, I'm ready." • These stages may overlap and repeat.

  48. 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………………..

  49. 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

  50. 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

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