• Old people are like old trees, uproot them, and transplant to other scenes, they droop and die, no matter how bright the sunshine, or how balmy the breezes. • Lucy A. Delaney U.S. slave and writer. • If you wish to succeed, consult three old people. • Chinese proverb. • Wine comes in at the mouth And love comes in at the eye; That's all we shall know for truth Before we grow old and die. • W. B. Yeats (1865 - 1939)Irish poet and playwright.
• Along with race and gender, people commonly use age to categorize—and form stereotypes about—others. Of the 3 categories, age is the only one in which the members of the in-group (the young) will eventually join the out-group (the old). Although ageism is found cross-culturally, it is especially prevalent in the United States, where most people regard growing older with depression, fear, and anxiety. As well as in our country.
Effects of Aging • Gerontologists study the social and behavioral effects of aging. The biological effects of aging, such as the loss of flexibility in some tissues and the decline of organ function, can influence these social and behavioral effects. For example, the heart becomes less efficient as a person ages, making exercise more difficult.
Accelerating Factors Natural Effects of Aging Organ or System smoking, repeated exposure to loud noise Become less sharp with loss of nerve cells Senses overuse of alcohol and drugs, repeated blows to the head Loses some capacity for memorization and learning as cells die Brain/ Nervous System smoking, excessive exposure to sun Loses thickness and elasticity (wrinkles appear) Skin
Process accelerated by injury, obesity Lose mobility (knee, hip) and deteriorate from constant wear and pressure Joints insufficient exercise, starvation Lose bulk and strength Muscles Process accelerated by overuse of alcohol and tobacco, poor eating habits Pumps less efficiently, making exercise more difficult Heart
ῆ One of the majorÄproblems of the elderly involves income and economic welfare . Because most old people are no longer in the labor force, some form of income maintenance is necessary. Industrial societies are characterized by systems of pensions and benefits such as Social Security in the United States, which currently is increased automatically as the cost of living rises, thus reducing somewhat the impact of inflation .
ῆ Nowadays many young people are complaining about how society is unfair to them. Reasons? OAP are still continuing working, occupying ex-studentsᾼ possible possitions. ῆ Old people in their turn want to live, but not trying to survive drawing their miserable pensions. ῆ All these lead to strained
Age discrimination in employment • So what is the appropriate age to be in this society? Older than 28 and even younger than ... what? 45? 50? Statistically, people find it hard to get into new fields or jobs over 45. That's a pretty narrow bracket.
• Having retired, people enter their new roles: social role of grandmother, housewife and nanny. That’s a normal thing for our reality. The problem is that many people don’t feel like baby-sitters and gardeners. They feel like working and living their own lives, but the social frames correct their behaviors in it’s own way. • Suicide ranks as one of the top ten causes of death in the United States. People over the age of 75 have the highest suicide rates, apparently due to the debilitating effects of physical illness, loss of social roles, and untreated depression.
Active people) • But some OAP know that a person’s biological age alone does not determine that person’s abilities. • Having retired, they to activities they love, such as travelling or other hobbies. • age doesn't necessarily prevent a person from practicing a demanding sport like windsurfing.
• The vast majority of elderly men are married and live with their wives in homes of their own. Because of the higher death rates for men than for women, however, most older women are widowed. Thus, fewer than 20 percent of the elderly live in the household of an adult child, and only 5 percent are in institutions such as hospitals or nursing homes. Those who live with an adult child or who are institutionalized are typically very old or have serious health problems. Few elderly parents are abandoned or neglected by their children.
• In many ways, the aged in the United States are victims both of the youth orientation of modern times and of a tendency toward denial of death. In the past, old people commanded respect because they controlled the sources of power: wealth, land, political office, information, and the fate of other family members. But now things changed: now young people decide themselves how to behave, who they will respect etc. There are a number of coalitions, such as National Coalition on Aging, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) strive to reverse the stereotype of old people as weak and dependent, and to improve the status of the aged.
• Elderly people themselv es often display high levels of morale, satisfaction with life, and feelings of self-worth. The important variables are health and income. The task of modern societies is to ensure that the aged have their basic needs met and that they have the resources to continue to function in the community.
ῆ SocialÄrelationshipsÄmight be difficult to maintain in old age because of health limitations, death of family members and friends, loss of workmates, and lack of transportation. Still, the majority of old people are deeply involved in friendships and family, and many find companionship at special senior centers.