HLTB01H3F: Health, Aging and the Life Cycle
Department of Health Studies
University of Toronto at Scarborough
Instructor: Anna Walsh.
Term: Winter 2010 Mondays 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
Lecture Room: Room AA 112.
Aldwin, Carolyn M. & Diane F. Gilmer. 2004. Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging:
Biological and Psychosocial Perspectives. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications,
Introduction to the course: course outline, assignments and exams.
Brief overview and discussion. What is aging? Introduction to basic definitions and
Models of Optimal Aging.
A&G: Chapters 1 +12
HLTB01—Lecture One-Class Notes
1) Current Events: In the last year in 2009, swine flu was one of the big stories,
H1N1 brought in a new challenge for us, We became aware we had to do something
Vaccinations were available and still are. It was an on going issue and surfaced in 2009
2) Zambony theory on MS. MS targets those between ages 20- 40. It affects people at the
prime of their life and causes nerological symptoms
Zambony doesn’t believe MS is auto immune disease as researchers had thought before.
They are really suffering from blockages in veins and their necks. Due to blocks there is a
reflex of blood back to brain. A lot of funding and researching is going on.
3) Use of viruses to fight bacteria. We are becoming resistant to use of anti biotic, but
studies show , that there is hope of attacking bacterial infections. Belief there will be
treatment in the use of viruses. Research came from University colledge London ear
institute and conducted a study on sever drug resistant ear infections
4) Preventing, brain cell death, in stroke patients. Research is occurring at uft. DR.
Micheal Tymianski, hes an associated prof of surgery and physiology and involved in
looking at treatment to save brainc ells after a stroke.
5) Lasers to stitch wounds, Using lasers to stictch wounds.
6) Gastricbypass surgery: treat type two diabetes. Procedure to make stomach smaller,
and apparently finds out that there has been an alteration in diabetes patients to go into
remission. Perhaps something else is going on. Some sort of a hormone. The affect
1 afterwards of gastric bypass, will give an example of how to deal with this. There is a
research to look at the links.
7)Canada needs a national strategy. Report by alzymeires says we are going to have a
tidal wave of dementia cases in the coming decade. Alzh society suggests dementia (robs
the mind of ability to think and process) will more than double to 2.5 M as baby boomers
age. They released this report, because it will be a cost, because it will be expensive to
treat people. Cost us resources and money. Report by alzh =rising tide, the impact of
dementia on Canadian society.
Jarry=wife 47 year old, registred nurse=diagnosed in late 1990’s
Had frontal temporal dementia. Mache executive director of insurance policy and became
primary care giver. Was able to take care of her because of supportive staff and was able
to work home.
Treatment given for MS was given to suppress immune system. Even treatment we
proivide is based on what we believe. Research is an evolving proc
Readings are chapter 1 and 12.
next week: ontarios health insurance program therefore no readings.
Quote Alfred tense
Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers.
This is why they say elderyly are wise. Process
Life experience makes people wiser.
Biogerentaology= study of the elderyly and aging process
When looking at euthanasia and if we should have doctor
Ask who is in charge
Who should be able to decide quality and needs.
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
- Lord Alfred Tennyson
• What is wisdom?
1 Aging of the population is probably one of the most discussed and debated
subjects in Canada today. While some analysts forecast the worst in terms of costs
to public services and labour market shortages, others argue that Canada is well-
equipped to face this social and demographic phenomenon - and that people
shouldn't worry that much about the growing percentage of seniors in the
Theories of aging
2 • Aging processes are plastic, the rate at which we age is affected in part by our
environment and our exposure to different circumstances.
• Psychosocial gerontologists have considered the emotional, cognitive and social
aspects of aging.
• Biogerontologists are concerned with the changes in the molecular, cellular and
organ systems that contribute to the rate of aging. Free radicals can increase the
rate of deterioration and antioxidants may decrease the rate of aging.
• Researchers in the field of health psychology and behavioral medicine are
concerned with the psychosocial factors that can impact upon an individual's
• There is emerging consensus across these 3 fields of study that provide some
understanding of the protective factors and harmful factors associated with aging.
• These advancements have contributed to the ongoing interest in optimal aging.
• In 1963, Birren, Butler, Greenhouse and Yarrow offered a distinction between
aging and disease. Their research offered the recognition that aging is not
necessarily associated with relentless disability and pain. Their findings
contributed towards the interdisciplinary study of aging and gerontology. Today,
the medical community has demonstrated ongoing successes in the treatment of
many chronic illnesses associated with prolonged aging.
• Biogerontology = the study of biological processes giving rise to old age.
• Gerontology = the study of the elderly, and of the aging process itself. It normally
refers to the study of the biological process of aging, not its medical
consequences. It concerns itself with the social, psychological and biological
aspects of the aging process.
• Geriatrics = the study of the diseases of the elderly. Gerontology covers the
social, psychological and biology aspects of aging.
• The field of Gerontology is still a much unknown area of study where no specific
theory can offer any general understanding of successful aging. There are many
theories that have been proposed and still many studies that will be advanced in
the future to better understand this stage in life.
When does late life began?
• The population of years over the age of 65 in Canada is a very heterogeneous
group whose health status, cultural origin, socioeconomic status, housing needs
and so on vary extensively. This requires the ability to appreciate and understand
the distinguishing differences between seniors rather than to arbitrarily group
them in one homogeneous population. There has been no consensus given to
when late life begins. There are some that have argued as young as 50 or 60 and
3 some as of 65 and older. It has been common practice to define young old
persons as those between the ages of 65-years-old and 79 and old old individuals
as those between the ages of 80 ad 99 and the old old that are centenarians or 100
years or older. Despite the fact that there are some individuals that will
experience disability in their 40s or 50s, most young old individuals are generally
speaking relatively healthy.
• Well-being- There has also been no consensus given to the definitions of well-
being and wellness or how to measure or assess them qualitatively or quantifiably.
• Age = the number of years that a person has been alive.
• Cohort = a group of people who share the same birth year or historical events i.e.
the World War II generation.
• Period = time in which a measurement or assessment was taken
• Age Effect = a phenomenon that always occurs, irrespective of age, cohort, or
period with aging.
• Life span = absolutely at a time that individual may live. Average life span for
human is = 120 years. Life span is defined as the period of time in which the life
events of a species typically occur.
• Life expectancy is how long, on average, an animal can be expected to live.
• Life expectancy = length of time that an individual of a particular cohort could
expect to live. It refers to the age at which half of a particular cohort will have
died. Its calculation must take into account unforeseen historical circumstances
that involve a number of assumptions.
• Longevity is the period of time an organism is expected to live under ideal
• Age-specific life expectancy equals average number of years that members of a
given cohort who have reached a specific age can expect to live. For example,
people who reach the age of 65 could expect to live another 18 or 20 years even if
the average life expectancy for their cohort is much lower.
• Epidemiology = The statistical study of the distribution and determinants of
disease in populations or study of disease in populations.
• HEALTH= A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not
merely the absence of disease or infirmity
• Mortality refers to death
• Morbidity refers to illness. Any departure, subjective or objective, from a state of
physiological or psychological well-being.
• Morbidity rate = the relative frequency of a particular disease.
• Mortality rate =Total number of deaths / total number of people at risk per unit of
• Incidence Rate: Number of new cases of a disease in a specified period / average
population during that period. Rate is usually expressed as per 100,000.
4 • These are biological needs. They consist of needs for oxygen, food, water, and a
relatively constant body temperature. They are the strongest needs because if a
person were deprived of all needs, the physiological ones would come first in the
person's search for satisfaction.
• Acute illness = usually rapid onset, short-lived, can resolve on its own or can be
• Chronic illness = An illness that has persisted for a long period of time.