Theories of Aging

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  1. Changes with Aging
    • changes are:
    • - intrinsic which comes from within
    • - extrinsic-which comes from environmental factors (ie exposure to smoke and pollutants
    • triggers of aging are influenced by genetics or by injury or abuse to body
  2. Types of Aging
    • Chronological aging is defined by years
    • biological aging is predicted by a person's physical condition
    • Psychological aging is expressed thru ability, control of memory, learning capacity, skills, emotions and judgment
    • Social age- measured by age grated behaviors, could be 80 but act 60 related to social behaviors
  3. Aging theories
    • Biological theories: physiologic and anatomic changes occurring with age
    • Social theories: explain roles and relationship in middle and late life
    • Pyschological theories: explain the thought processes and behaviors of aging persons
  4. Modern Biological theories of aging
    2 main categories
    • Programmed theories: implied that aging follows a biological timeline
    • Damage or error theories: emphasized environmental assaults to living organisms that induce cumulative damage at various levels as the cause of aging
  5. Biological Theories
    Programmed theory 3 subcategories
    • Programmed theory longevity: aging is the result of a sequential switching on and off of certain genes
    • Endocrine theory: biological clock acts thru hormones to control the pace of aging
    • Immunological theory: the immune system is programmed to decline over time, which leads to incre infection disease thus leading to death and aging
  6. Biological theories
    Error (stochastic) theories
    • wear and tear theory (1882): cells and tissues errors result in vital parts that wear out resulting in aging
    • Rate of living theory: the greater an organism's rate of oxygen basal metabolism, the shorter its lifespan
    • cross-linking theory (1942): an accumulation of cross-linked proteins damages cells and tissues slowing down bodily process resulting in aging
    • free radical theory (1954): proposes that superoxide and other free radicals causes damage to the macromolecular components of the cell causing damage and eventually loss of function to organs
    • somatic DNA damage theory- DNA damages occur continously in cells of living organisms
  7. Sociological Theories of aging ***
    • The following sociological theories explain and predict changes in the roles and relationships of older adults with an emphasis on adjustments:
    • - disengagement theory
    • - activity theory
    • - continuity theory
    • balance of wellness and health
  8. Disengagement theory
    • aging causes a voluntary slow down (ie retirement)
    • aging results in a decre in interaction between the aging adult and everyone else
    • withdrawl is natural, accepted and mutually beneficial to society and individual
  9. Activity theory
    • a positive correlation between keeping active and aging well
    • mutual social withdrawal runs counter to traditional american ideals of activity, energy, and industry
  10. Continuity theory
    • life satisfaction with engagement or disengagement depends on personality trait
    • in normal aging, personality traits remain stble
    • personality influences role activity and the individual's interest in a role
    • personality influences life statisfaction
  11. Implications for Gerontological nursing and healthy aging
    • sociological theories:
    • - provides the gero nurse with useful information and a background for enhancing healthy aging and adaption
    • - have been adapted and applied to comtemporary approaches to aging in many ways
  12. Psychological theories
    • aging a development process experienced between birth and death
    • they include:
    • Jung's theory personality
    • Developmental theories
    • theory of gerotranscendance
  13. Jung's theory of personality
    • defines the last half of your life as having a purpose of its own allowing for inner growth, self-awareness, and reflection
    • personality is directed either towards the external world (extrovert) or the internal world (introvert)
    • midlife presents questions of one's own dreams, values, and priorities
    • reflect where you want to be
  14. developmental theories
    • Erikson's developmental stages
    • - ego integrity or despair
    • Havighurst developmental tasks
    • - middle age
    • - later maturity
  15. Havighurst Developmental task
    • an activity or event that arises at a certain period in the life of an individual
    • successful achievement leads to happiness, growth, and success with later tasks
    • failure leads to unhappiness, disapproval by society, and difficulty with later tasks
    • self reflection: my goals, did we do what we wanted to do, productive life
  16. potential nursing assessment and education sociological theories
    • current level of activity and satisfaction with such (activity)
    • effect of changes in health on usual roles and activities (activity)
    • cultural beliefs and expectations related to roles , activity and both engagement and disengagement related to these (activity, disengagement)
    • usual life patterns and personality and attention to any change in these as an indication of a potential problem (continuity)- issues with management
    • knowledge of historial context of client and the potential influence on perception and responses (age- stratification)
    • active v non active
  17. What is the relevance of the biologicall and psychological theories of aging to nursing
    • provides useful information and a background for enhancing healthy aging and adaption
    • nurse needs to have a much knowledge as possible in order to develop best practice plans of care
    • knowledge from biological aging theories assist in performing more comprehensive and focused assessments
    • basis for assessment tools
  18. Developmental theories
    • erikson's heirarchy presents developmental stages and tasks
    • erickson's last stage of life is to look back and reflect- ego integrity or dispair
    • Peck expanded on Erikson with identification of specific tasks of old age to establish "ego integrity"
    • Havighurst also proposed specific tasks to be accomplished in middle age and later maturity
  19. Think about Erikson's stages of development?
    • what stage is your client in?
    • what stage is their caregiver in?
    • Generativity v stagnation
    • ego integrity v despair
    • remember the family bc they need resources too
  20. Havighurst Developmental theories
    • Middle age: assist children to become responsible adults, achieve social and civic responsiblity, maintaining satisfaction in life, occupation, career, adjusting to aging parents
    • Later maturity: adjusting to decrease strength, and heal, facing retirement living on a fixed income, explicit affilation with age group, establishing satisfactory living arrangments
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Theories of Aging
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