Late Adulthood

  1. Ageism
    • prejudice where people are judged and categorized solely on the basis of age
    • doesn't have to apply to just elderly
  2. Elderly's View of Ageism
    • believe their own stereotype
    • most think they are doing better than others their age
    • European Americans handle ageism the worst
  3. Ageism and Illness
    • makes elderly less likely to go to doctors for physical or psychological reasons 
    • doctors treat disease in elderly less aggressively 
    • lack of mobility options
  4. Elderspeak
    • like baby talk
    • speaking louder, simpler sentences, slower, etc.
  5. Gerontology and Geriatrics
    • gerontology: multidisciplinary study of old age
    • geriatrics: medical practice devoted to aging
  6. Centenarians
    • highest growing cohort of population
    • people who live 100+ years
  7. Demographic Shift
    • pyramid looks more like a rectangle
    • due to baby boomers aging as well as decline in birth rates
    • people also live longer
  8. Old, Older, Oldest
    • Young old: usually 65-75, but people who are financially secure, independent, no serious health issues 70%
    • old-old: usually 75-85, some physical or mental ability loss but can still primarily care for themselves 20%
    • oldest-old: usually cannot care for themselves, more severe mental or physical issues, 85+, only 10%
    • more defined by capability than by chronological age
  9. Primary Aging
    irreversible and universal physical changes that occur to everyone as they age
  10. Secondary Aging
    illnesses or conditions that become more common with age but are not inevitable and are usually due to health habits, genes, environment, etc.
  11. Cardiovascular Disease
    • leading cause of death
    • any form of disease that involves heart/circulatory system 
    • secondary form of aging due to diet, lack of exercise, and smoking 
    • hypertension: high blood pressure
  12. Increase in disease due to
    • medical cutoff (ie high blood pressure was 160 now 140)
    • detection due to medical advancements
    • population itself 
    • definitions of disease
  13. Selective Optimization with Compensation
    • choosing projects and activities (selecting) that they can do well (optimizing) therefore adjusting (compensation) to disease to avoid disability and maintain vitality
    • Individual Compensation: Sleep
    • Social Compensation: Driving (drive  less, slower, only under certain conditions--therefore statistically are better drivers)
  14. Sleeping
    • older adults have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep (waking up 10+ times per night!!) and experiencing deep sleep
    • many enjoy naps and laying in bed (not recommended)
  15. Compression of Morbidity
    shortening of the time a person spends ill or inform, accomplished by postponing illness
  16. Effects of Falling
    • osteoporosis: fragile bones which make breaking bones much easier 
    • falls are more detrimental in late adulthood because the body is more frail and rejuvenates slower
    • fear of falling is bad because it makes people less likely to exercise--it should be confronted instead (special exercise equipment, cane, etc.)
  17. Hearing and Sight loss
    • only 10% of 65+ see well without classes
    • many ways to correct vision (Surgery, glasses, bigger font, etc)
    • hearing: at 90, most men and half of women are deaf. hearing loss (presbycusis) is harder to cope with and also people tend to not like wearing hearing aids
  18. Wear and Tear
    • physical body wears out because of the passage of time and exposure to environmental factors 
    • support: each body has a certain amount of impact it can take, overweight/sick people die younger, organ replacement adds years to life
    • contradiction: aerobic exercise lengthens life, sex stimulates reproduction, etc.
  19. Genetic clock
    theory of a mechanism in DNA of cells that regulates aging by triggering hormonal changes and controlling cell reproduction and repair
  20. Cellular Aging
    aging begins with molecules and cells and not whole body systems
  21. Oxygen Free Radicals
    • atoms of oxygen with an unpaired electron 
    • these produce errors in cell mainentance that can cause cancer and other diseases
  22. Antioxidants
    chemical compounds that nullify the effects of free radicals by forming a bond with the unattached electron
  23. Hayflick Limit
    • number of times a cell is capable of dividing into two new cells 
    • it's approximately 50--indicative that we cannot live forever
  24. Calorie Restriction
    taking in fewer calories but still having proper vitamins and minerals to improve health and slow aging
  25. Factors affecting longevity
    • social support
    • diet (less red meat and more fiber)
    • meaningful work
    • exercise
    • optimistic attitude
  26. Brain Slowdown
    • longer processing times and reaction times 
    • older people don't want to compromise accuracy for speed 
    • past education means less slowdown 
    • elderly (and everyone) need to mentally exercise as well
  27. Neuroscience and the Brain
    • brain actually shrinks 
    • grey matter shrinks 
    • must rely on cognitive reserve (how big this is depends on past experience and life stressors)
    • compensation: need to use several parts of the brain for one task
    • mind wanders more
  28. Multitasking
    • older adults are bad at 
    • combining motor task and cognitive task is particularly difficult
  29. 4 Steps of Information processing approach
    • Input (sensing)
    • Storage (memory)
    • Programming (control processes) 
    • Output (what someone says or does)
  30. Input in IP
    • sometimes elderly are not aware of loss of sensory intake because their brain fills in--but often brain fills in incorrectly
    • interference: losing vital info because less vital info enters instead
  31. Storage/Memory in IP
    • working memory (short term) declines with age because speed is critical in working memory
    • long-term memory stays the same or even increases with age
  32. Control Processes in IP
    • elderly know concepts but struggle to retrieve them 
    • primary can be very beneficial to the elderly to help retrieve information
  33. Output in IP
    • gradual decline with age
    • health is pivotal in this
    • terminal decline: the weeks/months just before death display rapid cognitive slowdown
    • training: training elderly to do specific, relevant tasks better can help their cognition
  34. Ecological Validity
    cognition should be measured in settings that are realistic and should measure abilities that are relevant and needed in real life
  35. Dementia
    • an umbrella term for irreversible loss of intellectual functioning caused by organic brain damage or disease 
    • it is actually very uncommon in old age
  36. Delirium
    a temporary loss of memory accompanied often by hallucinations, terror, grandiosity, and irrational behavior
  37. Alzheimer Disease
    • most common type of dementia
    • gradual deterioration of memory and personality
    • plaque and protein tangles in the brain
  38. Stages of Alzheimer Disease
    • Stage 1: mild forgetfulness, especially dealing with names or where things were placed
    • Stage 2: generalized confusion, deficits in concentration and short term memory. aimless and repetitive speech 
    • Stage 3: dangerous memory loss (forgetting to clothe or eat)
    • Stage 4: can't care for themselves, recognize loved ones, etc.
    • Stage 5: complete loss of personality and total unresponsiveness
  39. Mild Cognitive Impairment
    forgetfulness and loss of verbal fluency (moderate) that sometimes is a precursor to Alzheimers
  40. Vascular Dementia
    sporadic and progressive loss of function caused my repeated temporary obstruction of vessels which prevent sufficient blood from reaching the brain
  41. Frontal Lobe Dementia
    dementia that is caused by amygdala and frontal lobes
  42. Parkinson Disease
    • caused by a reduction of dopamine in the brain
    • muscle tremors and rigidity
  43. Reversible Impairment of Dementia
    • depression
    • malnutrition, dehydration, brain tumors, illness, overmedication
  44. Polypharmacy
    elderly being on multiple prescription drugs and mixing drugs can cause adverse effects
  45. Self Theories
    • theories of late adulthood that emphasize the core self, or search to maintain one's identity 
    • integrity (wholeness) v despair: older adults seek to integrate their unique experiences with their vision of community
  46. Integrity
    people maintain integrity because they tend to remember things positively or justify bad behavior by being proud of their past (sucker or saint phenomenon)
  47. Compulsive Hoarding
    extreme efforts to hold onto possessions even if they endanger the individual because the individual believes they are apart of themselves
  48. Positivity Effect
    elderly people tend to perceive and remember positive images and experiences more than engative ones
  49. Stratification Theories
    social forces or social categories limit individual choices and affect a person's ability to function because of past stratification
  50. Stratification by Age
    • disengagement theory: aging makes a person's social sphere less narrow
    • disengagement is mutually reinforced often 
    • industrialized nations gradually shut elderly out of mainstream of society
    • activity theory: elderly want and desire to remain involves with social spheres and only become disengaged because of ageism
  51. Stratification by Gender
    • gender roles have pervasive impacts on us as we age
    • i.e. women are dependent on men so when spouses die they are in trouble OR men are less expressive about feelings and therefore less likely to receive proper medical help
  52. Activities in Late Adulthood
    • work: more people staying in work, can be positive if work is enjoyable
    • retirement: can be beneficial if they are not forced to retire and have other social obligations like volunteering 
    • home: elderly like caring for their homes, aging in place, and spending time in the house
    • religious involvement: less likely to go to church but more likely to partake in rituals
    • political activism: don't show up to rallies but write letters
  53. Long Term Partnership (Spouses)
    • married older adults in good marriages are healthier, happier, and wealthier
    • personal happiness increases with length and quality of intimacy 
    • couples view their spouse as better than themselves
  54. Relationship with younger generations
    • filial responsibility: obligation of adult children to care for their aging parents 
    • beanpole family: more generations but fewer people in each generation
    • successful adult child relationships are beneficial, but unsuccessful ones are stressful
Card Set
Late Adulthood
FINAL April 29