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Chapter 15 - Aging & the Elderly - pp.350-371

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Suzanne Casimiro

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Aging & the Elderly: Chapter 15 05/11/2010 15:19:00
Aging & The Elderly
Greying of Canada the average age of the population if steadily going up
The elderly population is increasing more than twice as fast as the population as a
In Canada, the amount of elderly people have been increasing becase the birth rate
has been declining due to families having fewer children
Life expectancy has been rising as living standards have been rising
Growing Old: Biology & Culture
Biological & Psychological Changes are associated with aging
Affluent elderly people experience fewer health problems than poor people
Growing old does not result in an overall loss of intelligence or major changes in
HOW elderly people are regarded is a matter of CULTURE
Gerontology the study of aging and elderly people
Age Stratification the unequal distribution of wealth, power and privilege among
people at different stages of the life course.
Gerontocracy - a form of social organization in which older people have the most
wealth, power and prestige.
Age Stratification: A Global Survey
In hunting and gathering societies, survival depends on stamina, young and and old
contribute less to society
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In AGRARIAN SOCIETIES, elders are typically the most privileged and important
members of society gerontocracy
In INDUSTRIAL & POST INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES, the social standing of the
elderly is low because the the social change is dominated by the young
Transitions & Challenging of Aging
Personal Challenges that elderly people face are:
The realization that ones life is coming to an end
Social isolation caused by the death of a friend or spouse
Reduced social prestige and a loss of purpose in life due to retirement
Single women and visible minorities are those who are of the aged poor
Some retired people have had to return to work due the economic downturn
Caregiving informal and unpaid care provided to a dependent person by family
members, other relatives, or friends
Ageism prejudice and discrimination against older people
Structural Functional Approach society disengages old people, gradually transferring
statuses and roles from older to younger people so that tasks are performed with
minimal interruption.
Disengagement Theory society functions in a way by disengaging people from
positions of responsibility as they reach old age.
Symbolic-Interaction Approach focuses on the meanings that people attach to growing
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