Chapter 10:Aging Families:
later life can be viewed as a time of new or renewed opportunity
+ one has free time to travel and pursue hobbies and interests that had to be put on hold to fulfill
work and family demands earlier in life
elderly person must adjust to physical and social changes, declines in health, and the death of
family members of elderly persons must make adjustments taking care for the elderly family
member within the context of their own busy lives
Who is Old?
subcategories for elderly group
+ young-old: 65-74
+ old-old: 75-84
+ oldest-old: 85 and older
measure old by chronological age (one's age in years) or by functional age (one's age measured
by competence or performance)
a person can have a functional age that is younger or older than his or her chronological age
life expectancy: number of years an individual born in a particular year (cohort) can expect to
live (how many years of life they can expect to have left)
Aging:AChallenge or an Opportunity?
individual aging perceived as a challenge or an opportunity, or both
+ time where shift from a focus on self to a focus on other
+ mid-life being a challenge between generativity and self-absorption and stagnation
generativity: ability to move beyond your own interests and toward helping the generation to
stagnation: contrast. Inability to find value in guiding and aiding the next generation.
Late life has its own challenge between finding integrity and living in despair.
Integrity: ability to accept one's life as something that had to be rather than regretting what it was
+ despair is the feeling that life has been in vain and is felt by a person who is still not satisfied
with how their life turned out.
+ later life = time for reflection on the life that was lived with integrity or in despair
generativity = major life task for older adult
+ expand it to four primary areas in life
+ biological generativity: people contribute to society by having children
+ parental generativity: nurturing and socializing children (may/may not be biological)
+ technical generativity: teaching skills to the next generation
+ cultural generativity: passing on cultural values and traditions to the next generation
+ a person can be generative in one or all of these areas, suggesting that an individual can
contribute to society in a number of important ways and give their life purpose
as we age, we may experience more losses
stereotyping of older people
usually negative but may be positive result of our fear of and vulnerability to our own aging and eventual death
separation between young and old depends on ethnic and cultural background
age effects: outcomes that occur due to one's age or developmental stage
cohort effects: outcomes that occur because one is born in a particular cohort
+ people born in a particular period share certain socio-historical experiences
period effects: outcomes that occur due to what is happening at the time of measurement
failing to separate age, period, and cohort effects developmental fallacy in which cross-
sectional age differences are interpreted as developmental change
+ effects of age (natural aging) and cohort were not taken into account (separated)
chronological aging: measured as passage of time; some events that occur during life course
based on this
+ ie: Canada's legal drinking age
biological aging: psychological changes that occur over time.
Psychological aging: changes in personality, cognition, emotional arousal, memory, learning, and
social aging: changes in our social roles and social status over time (ie: retirement)
process of physical deterioration that occurs over time
occur due to internal factors as we age, we lose lung capacity and brain cells and our arteries
Or external factors such as exposure to the sun and loud nose, personal health habits etc.
three main areas of psychological effects to aging
+ effects to musculoskeletal system losses in muscle mass and bone density through age. 20-30
years when starts happening and exercise helps.
+ endocrine system water imbalance in kidney due to malfunctioning of hypothalamus.
+ sensory changes decrease in ability, slower reaction time.
Slow wave sleep declines as we age
+ doesn't allow an individual to wake up feeling refreshed from a good night's sleep
compression of morbidity hypothesis: more people today than in the past postpone the onset of
chronic disability the period between being seriously ill and death has been shortened.
+ three most prevalent illnesses causing death and functional disability in later life are heart
disease, cancer, and stroke.
Acute (short-term) conditions are more debilitating and require more care
+ chronic conditions considered long term (more than three months) permanent conditions that
require long-term management
Assessing an older person's capacity to be able to perform basic self-care measured by activities
of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) scales s
+ADLscale assesses whether individuals can bathe themselves,feed themselves etc
+ IADLscale measures more complex activities such as preparing meals, shopping, use phone
loss in episodic memory, working memory, small losses in implicit memory, and semantic
memory. Attentional control: ability to multi-task with our attention to allocate our attention over several
different things at the same time
Wisdom: ability to apply knowledge of life events and conditions to make optimal decisions when
trying to solve life problems
+ older people better at foreshadowing problems (problem finding) and problem solving due to
their vast life experiences
most common psychological disorders are depression, anxiety, dementia, and alcoholism
+ older adults have less negative emotion, comparable positive emotion, more emotional control,
and more emotional stability elderly happy as those in mid life
seven dimensions of well-being
+ positive self-evaluation and self-acceptance
+ positive relationships with other people
+ having autonomy and self-determination
+ having mastery over one's environment
+ effectively managing one's life
+ having a sense of purpose
+ having a feeling of growth and development as a person
problems occur when psychological stress develops
three basic types of coping associated with positive emotions during chronic stress
+ positive reappraisal: individual tries to focus on the good aspects rather than the bad
+ problem-focused coping: individual focuses their thoughts and behaviors on things they can do
to manage or resolve the