HLTC22H3 Lecture Notes - Stunted Growth, Elder Abuse, Geriatrics

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25 Jan 2013

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10th Jan, 2013
The baby boomers (explosion of birth after world war 2) would now be entering old age. This course will
focus on aging and health (diseases like Alzheimer’s and other chronic degenerative diseases and their
impacts on human life). We are also concerned with how society deals with senility and the increase in
older people within our population.
Crews and ice 2012:
Of interest to human biologists is that senescence and aging are associated with greater biological,
physiological and sociocultural variation than observes during other periods of the human life span.
Besides the variation in culture, we will focus on the variation in life history and experiences (those who
live in senior care homes compared to those that are homeless, also low SES V.S high SES)
Geriatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with health problems and diseases of old age and aging
Gerontology is the field of study concerned with aging and problems of the aged. (elder abuse)
In 1971, the ages of 15-19 were highest in society.
In 2011, the ages of 45-49 and 60-64 were highest in society.
In 2030, the predicted mass age in society is 75-79.
The concern here will be whether we have the resources in 2030 to accommodate for the increase of
senior citizens within our society.
We should note that the idea of senior citizens not contributing to society has changed. Due to the fact
that the human race is constantly advancing, we have learnt to take better care of ourselves (mental
and physically), as such, a lot of the seniors are still very active in our society today.
The biocultural perspective recognises that culture shapes human biology (its capacities and
limitations). The human body is viewed as the embodiment or product of all environment factors (social
environment, living and non-living or physical environment)
eg. Stunted growth due to living in a low oxygen environment
poor health due to living in crowded and poor sanitary conditions
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