Aging notes.docx

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Western University
Health Sciences
Health Sciences 2711A/B
Jamie Melling

Aging notes Emotional and Social Development in Middle Adulthood Increasing awareness of limited time ahead prompts middle-aged adults to revaluate the meaning of their lives Erikson Theory: Generativity vs. Stagnation Erikson’s’ psychological conflict is called generativity versus stagnation Generativity • Reaching out to others in ways that give to and guide the next generation • Generativity outlive the self and ensure the society’s continuity and improvement • Parenting: major mean of generativity • Brings together personal desires and cultural demands • Personal desires: feel a need to be needed • Cultural desires: requiring adults to take responsibility for the next egenration • Belief in the species: major conviction that life is good and worthwhile, even in the face of human destructiveness and deprivation Stagnation • Ppl become self centered and self-indulgent after attaining life goals Generativity normally increases in midlife. Highly generative ppl are well adjusted, low in anxiety and depression, high in autonomy, self- acceptance, life satisfaction and successful marriages and close friends. Generativity is associated with effective child rearing- authoritative style Having children seems to foster men’s generative development than womens African Americans are more often engaged in certain types of generativity than Caucasians Believing in a higher being may preserve generative commitments Other theories in psychosocial development in midlife Levinsons’s Seasons of Life Transitional period: 40-45, evaluate their success in early adulthood Must confront 4 developmental tasks Young- Old • Must seek new ways of being both young and old • Can be sensitive to physical strength and attractiveness Destruction-Creation • Participate in activities with human welfare so it is easier to leave a legacy Masculinity-femininity • Must create a better balance between masculine and feminine parts of the self. • Men: more feminine traits like nurturing and caring • Women: masculine traits like autonomy and assertiveness • Androgynous identity: having both traits Engagement and Seprateness • Better balance between engagement with the external world and separateness. Poverty, unemployment and lack of respected place in society doesn’t allow to focus on the aging process Vaillant’s Adaptation to Life • The most successful and best-adjusted entered a calmer, quieter time of life • Older ppl are guardians of traditions, laws and cultural values • As approaching midlife, they focus on longer term, less personal goals. Midlife Crisis Substantial inner turmoil during the transition to middle adulthood. Turning point for women: early adulthood; changing work related stuff for marriage and child rearing Turning point for men: middle adulthood; career responsibilities Women who acknowledged regret without making life changes, compared to those who modified their lives reported less favourable psychological wellness and physical health By late midlife, interpretation of regret plays a major role Those who accepted the regrets with a positive mind had a better physical health and greater life satisfaction than those who didn’t. Life evaluation is common in middle age Chapter 18 Emotional and Social Development in Late Adulthood Some older adults embrace old age positively and some don’t. Erikson’s Theory: ego Integrity vs. Despair Adults who arrive at a sense of integrity feel whole, complete and satisfied with their achievements Ego integrity was associated with more favourable psychological wellbeing (self-acceptance, marital satisfaction) Adults feel bad at this stage (despair) when they have made many wrong life choices Other theories of psychosocial development in late adulthood Pecks Tasks of Ego integrity and Joan Erikson’s Gerotranscendence Attaining ego integrity involves 3 distinct tasks Ego differentiation: those who invested heavily in their careers, finding othe ways to affirm self- worth. Through family, friendship and community life Body transcendence: Surmounting physical limitations by emphasizing the compensating rewards of cognitive, emotional and social peers Ego transcendence: facing the reality of death constructively through efforts to make life more secure, meaningful, and gratifying for youngers generation As elders grow, both ego and body transcendence increase. Gerotranscendence: a cosmic and transcendent perspective directed forward and outward, beyond the self; heightened in inner calm and contentment and additional time spent in quiet reflection. Labouvie-Vief’s Emotional Expertise Basic information-processin skills diminish in late adulthood Elders display compensating emotional strength. They improve in affect optimization (the ability to maximize positive emotion and dampen negative emotion. Adults who are high in affect optimization also retain considerable capacity for cognitive affective complexity (a combination related to especially effective emotional self-regulation) Adults describe their emotional reactions to personal experiences more vividly. Coping strategy: making sure they fully understand their own feeling before deciding on a course of action Reminiscence Telling stories about people and events from their past and reporting associated thoughts and feelings. Can be adaptive and positive Life review: calling up past experiences with the goal of achieving greater self-understanding; part of attaining ego integrity; increased self-esteem, greater sense of purpose in life and reduced depression. Recent study: few older adults considered the last few decades to be the best; some said middle adulthood was the best but adolescent or childhood wasn’t a choice for many. This is proves that older adults do not wish to be small or go back in time. Today’s elders are future oriented and seek pathways for personal growth. Reminiscence is self-focused, engaged in to reduce boredom and revive bitter events, is linked to adjustment problems. Other-focused reminiscence: directed at social goals such as solidifying family and friendship ties and reliving relationships with lost loved ones Knowledge based reminiscence: drawing on their past for effective problem solving strategies and for teaching younger people. A changing Social World Amount of social interaction decreases in old age Social theories of Aging Disengagement theory Mutual withdrawal between elders and society takes place in anticipation of death. Preoccupied with their inner life. When they are disengaged, their death is less disruptive to society. After retirement; some of them develop new, rewarding roles in their community Disengagement may be a result of society failing to provide opportunities Activity Theory Social barrier to engagement, not the desires of elders, cause declining rates of interaction. Elders’ life satisfaction depends on conditions that permit them to remain engaged in roles and relationships. This theory doesn’t focus on psychological change in old age. Continuity theory Strive to maintain a personal system- an identity and a set of personal dispositions, interests, roles and skills that promoted life satisfaction by ensuring consistency between their past and anticipated future. Elders try to minimize stress by choosing to use familiar skills in familiar activities with familiar people Benefits of elders’ reliance on continuity: help preserve physical and cognitive functioning, fosters self-esteem, and mastery and affirms identity, attaining ego integrity Socioemotional selectivity theory Social interaction extends lifelong selection process In late 80’s only few close relationships The physical and psychological aspects of aging lead to changes in the functions of social interaction. Physical fragility makes it more important to avoid stress, older adults emphasize the emotion- regulating function of interaction. Motivated to only approach pleasant relationships Interacting with relatives and friends is good for their emotional equilibrium. Older adults Respond to tension by expressing affection and calmly letting the situation blow over. Older people are happier with their circle of friends and report fewer problematic relationships. Perception of time is linked to their social goals. As the time is limited, older people tend to focus on the quality of their social experiences More independent adults mean more emotionally close social partners Less independent adults mean less emotionally close partners Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle adulthood Physical Changes Vision Difficulty reading small prints is common Thickening of the lens and weakening of the muscle are the reasons. By the age of 50, the accommodative ability of the lens is one-sixth of what it was at the age 20. Presbyopia: the lens loses its capacity to adjust to objects at varying distances entirely (age 60) Limits the ability to see in dim light, which declines at twice the rate of daylight vision. Size of the pupil shrinks and the lens yellows Vitreous develops opaque areas, reducing the amount of light reaching the retina Yellowing of the lens and increasing density limit colour discrimination, especially the green, blue and violent end of the spectrum. Gradual loss of cones and rods and neurons in the optic nerve Glaucoma: a disease in which poor fluid drainage leads to a build-up of pressure with in the eye, damaging the optic nerve. Often in women than men. Hearing Presbycusis: old hearing, age related Inner ear structures deteriorate noticeable hearing loss at high frequencies African tribal people hearing loss: biological aging Men’s hearing decline more rapidly than women’s; this becase of smoking, intense noise, chemical pollutants, high blood pressure, cerebrovascular disease or strokes Skin Epidermis: outer protective layer Dermis: middle supportive layer Hypodermis: inner fatty layer that adds shape of the skin When we age epidermis is less attached to the dermis. Skin loses water content Thinning of the fibers Skin wrinkles, loosen and feel dry, Forehead lines from smiling and facial expressions Crow’s feet around the eye Skin loses elasticity and begins to sag. Blood vessels become more visible as the fat layer thins Ppl who spent more time in the sun without proper skin protection look older than the others Muscle fat make up Weight gain increase in body fat and loss of lean body mass More fat in abdomen in men More fat in the waist in women and upper arms Low fat diet and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables: greater initial weight loss and success fat maintaining that loss over 7 years Resistance training offsets both excess weight and muscle mass Skeleton Bones broaden and mineral content declines More porous bones Gradual loss of bone density Women’s reserve of bone minerals is lower than men Loss of bone strength causes the disks in the spinal column to collapse and height may drop around 1 inch. Weight bearing exercises, adequate calcium, and Vi t- D intake, no smoking and no high alcohol consumption can slow bone loss in women Reproductive system Climacteric: midlife transition in which fertility declines. Women Production of estrogen decreases Cycles become irregular Ova is not released Menopause: the end of menstruation and reproductive capacity; around age 50 Women who smoke and have no children tend to reach menopause earlier Reproductive organs shrink and genitals to be easily stimulated Sexual performance difficulties Drop in estrogen: decreased elasticity and loss of bone mass, loss of the ability to protect against the accumulation of plaque in arteries Period leading up to menopause: a rise in body temperature, redness in the face, neck and chest, sweating (hot flashes) No changes in quality of sleep in menopausal women. Hormone Therapy Low daily doses of estrogen 2 types • Estrogen alone (estrogen replacement therapy) : for women who had hysterectomies • Estrogen plus progesterone (hormone replacement therapy); lessens the cancers of the endometrium • These help in hot flashes, vaginal dryness, bone deterioration and colon cancer HRT increases mild increase in heart attack, stroke and blood clots HRT taken for more than 4 years can cause breast cancer Elevated risk of mild cognitive risk and doubled alzheimer’s disease HRT begun before menopausal may reduce cardiovascular disease Women’s psychological rxns to menopause It can disappointing for women sometimes Many women regard it as a new beginning; they felt relived as there’s no birth control Highly educated women had more positive attitude towards menopause than less educated women. African americal and Mexican American; had more favourable views Reproductive changes in men No counterpart to menopause Semen diminishes after age 40 and negatively affects fertility Sperm production continues Testosterone production declines Difficulty attaining an erection; so use Viagra or other drugs Thes
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