LATE ADULTHOOD: Physical and cognitive development
Aging: Myth and RealityAgeism: stereotyping and judging a group of people solely on the basis of their age.Gerontology: the study of aging and the special problems associated with it.Geropsychology: the study of the behavior and needs of the elderly.
Older Adults: Who are They?Future Growth: United StatesIn 1990: 35,808 people were 100 years old; in 1998: 66,000Projection: 60 million people living beyond 70 years by the year 2050.
EffectsIncreased dependency ratioIncreased demand for resourcesEmergence of older people as a political force and social movement
MythsMost persons age 65 and over live in hospitals, nursing homesThe elderly are incapacitated and in bed because of illnessMost elderly people are prisoners of fear by virtue or their fear of crime
MythsMost people over 65 are in serious financial straitsMost grown children live away from their elderly parents and abandon them
GenderWomen Live Longer Than MenThe ratio of women to men is 4 to 1 in people over 65
HealthNutrition and Health RisksOsteoporosis: a condition associated with a slow, insidious loss of calcium that results in porous bonesDrug Dosages and Absorption EffectsHealth problems result from overmedication and mixing medications
Mental HealthMental Health and DepressionDepressed elderly often do not seek treatment.
Biological AgingBiological aging: changes that occur in the structure and functioning of the human organism over time.Primary aging: time-related changes; a continuous process that begins at conception and ceases at death.
Physical ChangesHair grows thinner and turns gray Skin changes Fat and muscle bulk decrease WrinklingCollagen: a substance that constitutes a very high percentage of the total protein in the body, appears to be implicated in the aging process
Vision and Hearing Retinal detachment: a serious condition in which the retinal layer at the back of the eyeball begins to peel away.Hearing lossLoss of memory ability linked with loss of hearing
HypothermiaA condition in which body temperature falls more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit and persists for a number of hours.
Sleep ChangesSleep patterns changeSleep apnea: a disorder in which the person occasionally stops breathing during sleep
SexualityMany factors may influence a decline in sexual activity as individuals age.
Biological Theories of AgingGenetic PreprogrammingAging Effects of HormonesAccumulation of Copying ErrorsError in DNAAutoimmune MechanismsAccumulation of Metabolic WastesStochastic ProcessesLongevity Assurance Theory
Cognitive FunctioningThe Varied Courses of Different Cognitive AbilitiesPerceptual speed decreasesDepends on whether the elderly use their abilities
Cognitive DeclineFactors that reduce risk of cognitive decline in old age:Good health: no chronic diseasesEnvironmental circumstances : education, interests, income and familyStimulating lifestyleFlexible and adaptable personalityMarriage to spouse with high cognitive capabilities
Death DropOverestimating the Effects of AgingDeath drop: a marked intellectual decline, or the terminal decline phenomenon, occurs just a short time before a person dies
Memory and AgingCharacteristics of older learners:Preference for a slower paceMore errors of omission due to cautiousnessMore disrupted by emotional arousalLess attentiveLess willing to deal with irrelevant materialLess likely to use imagery
Information ProcessingPhases in Information ProcessingWhen information is remembered, three things occurEncodingStorageRetrieval
Memory FailureDecay Theory: forgetting is due to deterioration of the memory traces in the brain.Interference theory: retrieval of a cue becomes less effective as more and newer items come in to be classed or categorized in terms of it.
Learning and AgingOlder learners benefit when given more time to learn something.Older learners are more reluctant to venture a response.Medications can diminish mental functions.
SenilitySenility: progressive mental deterioration, memory loss, and disorientation regarding time and placeMultiinfarcts: little strokes that destroy a small area of brain tissue20-25% of all senility results from these
Alzheimers DiseaseAlzheimers Disease: a progressive, degenerative disorder that involves deterioration of brain cells.50% of all senility results from Alzheimers Disease.
Alzheimers DiseasePhases of AlzheimersForgetfulnessConfusionDementia
Moral DevelopmentJames Fowlers Stages of Faith PrimalIntuitive-ProjectiveMythic-LiteralSynthetic-ConventionalIndividuative-ReflectiveConjunctive Faith and the Interindividual SelfUniversalizing Faith