Late Adulthood - chapter 12.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1010
Shuang Li

Chapter 12 - Late Adulthood Chapter 12 Section 1 Cultural Beliefs about Late Adulthood - Begins at about age 65 - Portrayal of late adulthood has often been bleak and grim - Studies have shown in western countries that older adults often encounter ageism (prejudice and discrimination based on age) - Attitudes towards older adults is more negative than younger adults - Other studies show that older adults experience being ignored or patronized - Asian, African, & Latin American cultures the view of late adulthood is quite favourable - Status is based in part on age: the older people become, the more authority and respect they have - In the West the depiction of adulthood is becoming more positive in some ways - An analysis of American television advertisements containing older adults found that 78% presented them in positive ways Substages of late Adulthood - young-old are persons aged 65-74 - Old-old are persons aged 75-84 - Oldest-old are aged 85+ - Declines in functioning are fairly mild in the first two age groups, but much steeper among the oldest-old - They are far more likely than the two younger groups to have difficulties performing activities of daily living (ADLs) (bathing, dressing, food preparation and eating, housekeeping, and paying bills) - Gerontologists (researchers on aging) have proposed the concept of functional age to signify the actual competence and performance of older adults Global Aging Patterns: The Worldwide Boom in Older Adults - Old Age Dependency Ratio (OADR) in population, the ratio of persons age 65 an over to persons age 20 64 - As populations decline due to fertility rates below 2.1, the number of persons in the work force gradually falls while the number of persons in pension and health care programs gradually rises as life expectancy increases - Medical care for older adults is likely to become even more advanced in the decades to come because vast sums of research funding are being spent on aging research - Worldwide, at age 65, women have a longer life expectancy than men, usually by about 5 years Physical Changes - Primary Aging is the inevitable biological aging that takes place in all members of the human species, as it takes place in all living organisms - Secondary Aging is the decline in the physical functioning that takes place due to lifestyle behaviours such as unhealthy diet, insufficient exercise, and substance use, as well as environmental influences such as pollution Changes in Appearance - Skin continues to wrinkle and sag - Bones continue to thin, especially In women, and thinning of the bones contributes to a stopped posture - Hair becomes thinner on head (it may sprout for the first time in unexpected places) - Age spots appear (due to years of exposure to sun) - Height slowly declines about 1 inches for men and 2 inches for women after the age 60, due to the loss of bone mass in the spinal column - Teeth become yellower due to loss of enamel from their surface along with the accumulated effects of food, tea, coffee, & tobacco - Prior to recent advances of dentistry most people lost most or all of their teeth by late adulthood Changes in Senses Vision - Declines take place in late adulthood in the functioning of all main part of the visual system: cornea, lens, retina, and optic nerve - Older people develop cataracts (a progressive thickening of the lens causing vision to become cloudy and distorted Hearing - Declines in the course of late adulthood for most people and by late seventies 75% most people report loss of some hearing - Some older persons have tinnitus (which involves hearing a ringing or buzzing sound with no external source - Sometimes hearing loss lead to social withdrawal, it is associated with loneliness and depression Taste & Smell - After age 60 the number of taste buds on the tongue declines , the cells in the smell receptor of the nose diminish and the olfactory bulbs on the brain (process smell) start to shrivel Changes in Sleep Patterns - Increases substantially after the age of 60 - However the increase they take longer to fall asleep and wake up often during the night- With age people come to prefer an earlier bedtime and an earlier wake up time (develop an increasing preference for morningness over eveningness) - Sleep Apnea occurs ( a sleep- related respiratory disorder) - It is especially common among older adults who are obese or who drink alcohol heavily, and it is substantially more common among men than among women - Most common treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) Health in Late Adulthood Chronic Health Problems Arthritis - Most common - It is a disease of the joints that especially affects the hips, knees, neck, hands, and lower back - No cure for arthritis - Exercise can help relieve the symptoms of arthritis Osteoporosis - For women the decline in bone mass is steepest in the decade following menopause, the process continues in late adulthood and the risk of osteoporosis continues to rise - It places older women at higher risk for broken bones and subsequent mortality; about 15% of women age 65 who experience a major bone fracture die within a year Hypertension - Known as high blood press
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