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NURS 1260 (3)

Unit 9 Late Adulthood

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NURS 1260

Unit 9: Late Adulthood Gerontology: Scientific study of aging  Late adulthood period of variability not decline Life Expectancy  Men (65-83)  Women (65-86)  Women in mid 80s can live over 92  Gender gap narrowing since 1981 Sub-Groups Young-old: 60-75 Old-Old: 75-85 Oldest-old: 85+, fastest growing  From 1981 to 2000 over 65 group increased by 2 thirds and over 85 tripled Self-Rated Health  Optimistic view important  Most older adults regard health as good  Chronic illness at age 65 predicts rapid decline later Limitations on Activities  Physical problems or disease like arthritis, hyper tension, obesity  Frail elderly with impairments so extensive cannot care for self Functional Status  Measure of ability to do chores of daily living Activities of Daily Living (ADL)  Bathing, dressing, toilet Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)  More complex  Managing money, using phone, socializing, cooking Health Issues Habits  Smoking, low level of activity, being under/over weight cause mortality Exercise  Live longer, low disease rate, high cognitive functioning Canada's Physical Activity Guide for Older Adults  30-60 mins of exercise daily can be in 10 min segments Physical Changes Brain and Nervous System  Decrease in brain weight Unit 9: Late Adulthood  Loss of grey matter  Loss of dendrite density  Slower synaptic speed  Loss of dendrites (primary aging) linked to education: less cerebral cortex atrophy occurs in those with more education  Loss of dendrites causes slower synaptic speed, slows reaction time Senses + Other Body Systems Presbyopia (farsightedness)  Enlarged blind spot reduces field of vision  Pupil doesn’t widen/narrow as much  Cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration diminish visual acuity +adaptability Presbycusis  Men lose hearing more  Word discrimination a problem Tinnitus  Ringing in ears  Severe hearing loss result of social+psychological problems Theories of Biological Aging Genetically Programmed Senescence  Age-related declines result from species genes for aging Free Radicals  Atoms with unpaired electron by-product of metabolism  Especially oxygen free radicals  Enter harmful chemical reactions causing cell damage  Fats, and preservatives create free radicals  Prevent by eating antioxidants vitamin a/c Vision and Hearing Vision  Cataracts and glaucoma Hearing  Social isolation and depression  Car accidents + slow reaction time causes burns Behavioral Effects of Physical Aging  Main aspect is decrease in reaction time  Frequent waking after 65  Less stamina, dexterity and balance  70% still sexually active  Impaired satiety constant hunger Unit 9: Late Adulthood Diseases of Old Age Dementia  Leading cause of institutionalization  Small strokes, infections and metabolic disturbance are causes  Variation in sex hormones related to cognitive performance Alzheimer's  Severe dementia develops slowly (memory problems, repeating convos, disorientation in unfamiliar situations)  Cannot recognize family, perform routines  Cannot control emotion Diagnosis:  After death  Neurofibrillary tangles surrounded by plaques  Genetics could be a factor  Most common is chromosome 19 causing error in proteins Treatment:  Galantamine increases neurotransmitters in brain  Making notes  Diet, exercise, support Depression  Can be mistaken for dementia because of confusion and memory loss  Depressed mood (geriatric dysthymia) mistaken for clinical depression  Geriatric dysthymia doesn’t usually turn into clinical depression  Not enough support/income, emotional loss, health issues, education level  Women have higher depression rate and men more likely to commit suicide Therapy/Medication:  Psychotherapy + help develop optimistic thoughts (solution focused therapy)  Anti depressants but can interfere w
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