Chapter 8 Notes - Grey Power and the Sunset Years.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1020
Tuuli Kukkonen

Chapter 8 Notes: Grey Power and the Sunset Years Dimensions of Aging Chronological Age - chronological age: the number of years a person has lived - median retirement age is dropping for number of reasons: o government lowered the age at which one could draw benefits from the Canadian Pension o improved private pension plans o growing popularity of RRSP’s o economic cutbacks and layoffs - before establishment of pension plans, most people worked as long as they could o after this may have to become dependent on children or charity Psychological Age - psychological age: a frame of mind and may be shown through “old” behaviour such as Granny sitting in a rocking chair, knitting Social Age - social age: based on cultural norms, which specify how we should act when we are at a certain age and how we should interact with people older and younger than ourselves - changes in the timing of marker events and therefore shifting expectations of appropriate behaviour The Aging of Canada - sociologists are beginning to describe individuals as young-old (65-74 years), middle-old (75-84 years), and the fastest-growing age group old-old (85 years and over) Developmental Tasks of Old Age - Erikson describes the psychosocial task of old age as integrity versus despair – as individuals look back on their lives, they look for order and meaning; without sense of meaning, the individual sinks into despair - Two phases: o As one approaches 70, there is desire to review one’s life and give back to society – this time is prime for recording memoirs o In the late 70s to the end of life, individuals experience an “encore” phase of reflection and celebration of their lives They “Young” Old Economic Factors - in 1951, the Old Age Security Act provided pensions for all Canadians aged at least 70 Family Relationships - an increasing number of older women are divorced - more widowed and divorced men than women remarry o more women available – men die earlier - older gay men complain they are vigorously pursued by older heterosexual women who are looking for mates and husbands - retirement can have positive effects on relationships - when both partners are retired, they report better relationship quality
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