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GERON 201 (1)
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GERON 201 FULL TEXTBOOK READINGS

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Department
Gerontology
Course Code
GERON 201
Professor
Shannon Freeman

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GERON 201TOPIC 1 STUDYING AGINGINTRODUCTIONDefinition of old varies over time culture situationToday we consider 65 to be old 200 years ago 50 would be considered old Old is relevant to person saying word ie child may consider someone to be over 20 years as old Aging is a process that begins at maturity and continues until death Youngold is 6574 Oldold is 7584 Oldestold is 85Distinguish numerical age from functional age Some people psychologically and socially grow old before their time Gerontology study of aging Major focus on biological behavioural social sciences Also applied to interior design history literature and marketing Geriatrics medical care of older people It is concerned with changes that occur with age as a result of disease CHAPTER 1 OUR NATIONS ELDERSIn 21st century there is a large elder growth spurt as baby boomers turn 65 Racial and ethnic groups who are aged 65 and older will expand faster than the white population By 2030 one in four elders will be a member of a minority group Four largest minority groups are black Americans Hispanic Americans Asian and Pacific Islanders and Native Americans Ageism term by Robert Butler It describes prejudice and discrimination against the old In 2000 a study was conducted by National Council on the Aging about the elderlys view on aging and compared it to the survey of 1974 The recent study showed that elders reported a more positive experience less reported poor health fear of crime insufficient funds and loneliness Most did not report these are problems but identified them as being problems for others This is a degree of ageism seeing elderly people as poor and frail but seeing themselves as the exception Half of those aged 65 and a third aged 75 identified themselves as being young or middleaged Two most common responses to indicators of old age were decline in physical ability and mental functioning Demography study of size geographical distribution and vital statistics of a particular group Surveys are common to collect data The number of people who are 65 will accelerate over the next 30 years Currently 1 in 8 13 are 65 By 2030 the number of elders will double to 1 in 5 20 Individuals who are 85 are increasing the fastest This is because more people are surviving to old age and birthrate is constant Up until 2010 rate of increase was slower because few babies were born during the Great Depression of 1930s Life expectancy continues to increase People born today are expected to live 30 years longer than those born in 1900 In 2009 the average life expectancy at birth was 782 years Gender has largest influence on life expectancy Women generally live longer than men no matter what ethnicity or race Ethnicity has strong influence on life expectancy In 2009 blacks on average died more than 4 years before whites Native Americans have the shortest life expectancies estimated to be 6 years less than general population The reduced life expectancy among ethnic and racial groups is thought to be because of poverty increased rate of some chronic illnesses and reduced access to health care Life expectancy increased because of reduced deaths of infants and children through control of diseases Centenarians people aged 100 or over It is estimated that there are more people over the age of 100 alive today than all those who ever lived to be 100 prior to the 20th century In 2009 4 out of 5 older persons owned their own homes with a median value of 150000 Two thirds had paid off mortgages Generally their homes were older than those of younger age groups Many lived in same homes in which they raised a family Median income of those who rented was almost half of those who owned their homes Elders are less likely to change residences When older people move they stay in the same country More than 4 out of 5 elders live in metropolitan areas city or suburbs About 1 in 5 lives rurally small towns In 2009 the states with the greatest number of older people California Florida New York Texas The states with highest proportion of older people Florida 17 West Virginia 16 Those who are married in old age are less likely to need home health services and institutional care Women live longer than men and women tend to marry men older than themselves This results in more than 4 times as many widows as widowers The percent of widowed women equals the number of married women 41 The number of elders who are divorced is increasing Almost 12 were divorced or separated and not remarriedFamily setting a person lives with at least one other person most commonly a spouse Two thirds of elders who are not institutionalized live in a family setting The number of elders living with family members decreases with advancing age Older women are less likely to live with families than older men because the majority of older men are married and majority of older women are widowed The number of elders living alone is increasing In 2009 about 30 lived alone The proportion of older women was more than twice that of older men living alone A very small proportion of elders live in nursing homes 4 The chance of living in a nursing home increases with advancing age Marital status living arrangements and availability of children play a major role in determining whether an older person resides in a nursing home When a spouse or child is not present elders are more likely to be institutionalized Older people have completed fewer years of schooling than younger adults From 1970 to 2009 the percentage of those aged 65 and older who had completed high school more than doubled Those who completed high school depended on race Whites then Asians and Pacific Islanders blacks and then Hispanics Many elders are life long learners enrolling in educational programs in later years With the onset of Medicare and Social Security financial protection elders are no longer the most financially vulnerable age group Generally elders have a lower annual income than other adult groups children have highest poverty level Women aged 65 have higher rates of poverty than men aged 65 Those living alone were 3 times more likely to be poor than those living with kin 1 in 15 white elders was poor 1 in 5 blacks and Hispanics were poor Being female and an ethnic minority and living alone increased risk of poverty Over one third of older black women living alone and half of older Hispanic women who lived alone were poor Those who are over 85 generally have the lowest income of all Majority of older people are not employed Their income is lower than that of other adults groups Social Security The Social Security Act of 1935 guaranteed a monthly income to individuals 65 who paid into the program during their working years It is financed by taxes on salaries of workers Most people need 10 years of work to qualify for benefits 90 of elders received Social Security It provided about 40 of income of elder Americans For more than one third of the elder population Social Security provided 90 to total income Minority elders are less likely to collect retirement benefits because they are more likely to die before they are eligible before of reduced life expectancy 90 of whites earned Social Security 81 blacks 74 Hispanics 66 Asians Supplemental Security Income SSI if Social Security benefits are insufficient to cover living expenses public assistance is available from SSI It was established in 1974 to assist all aged blind and permanently disabled people who had inadequate income and little to no assets The program is financed by federal government through general taxes with contributions and management by the states Many older people have income sources besides Social Security personal assets savings proceeds from businesses home equity private or public pensions and earnings Pensions money set aside by employers during the employees working years to be paid to the retired employee monthly after retirement They serve to provide a steady income Women are less likely to receive pensions Employers may not adequately fund their pension plans or may offer pensions to only some classes of workers Pensions are not guaranteed Individual Retirement Accounts IRAs alternative to pensions Employers offer this Individuals contribute a portion of their paycheck to an investment fund consisting of stocks and bonds The employer may also contribute There are
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