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Aging - process of growing old: the process of growing old, especially of acquiring the physical and mental characteristics of old age.Changes that occur to an organism during its lifespan, from development to maturation to senescence Social gerontology - the area of gerontology that is concerned with the impact of social and sociocultural conditions on the process of aging and its social consequences ATTITUDES TOWARD AGING AND THE ELDERLYAttitude - definition● enduring organization of motivational, emotional, perceptual, and cognitive processes with respect to some aspect of an individual’s world● embodies both affective (emotional) component and action tendencyPersonal consequences of negative views of aging● Older person’s inability or unwillingness to seek needed services, health care or other services● others in social environment will ignore or may respond negatively to the elderlyRobert Butler - ageism - definition● process of systematic stereotyping of and discrimination against people because they are old● a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify age-based prejudice, discrimination, and subordination● negative attitudes, beliefs, and conceptions of nature and characteristics of older persons that are based on age that distort their actual characteristics, and abilities. Three elements of ageism1. prejudicial attitudes toward older people, old age, and aging process2. discriminatory practices against older people (ie age restriction for driving)3. institutional practices and policies that perpetuate stereotypes about older peopleSocial construction of ageism - American ideals● youthful appearance, independence, speed of performance, productivity, and wealth are American Ideals (DOES THIS NEED MORE?) ● In the american society, mental and physical weakness are stigmatizedElder abuse - definition● intentional or negligent acts by caregiver or “trusted” individual that (potentially) causes harm to vulnerable elderElder abuse - prevalence● 11% of US elders some kind of abuse within the past year● Not much research completed on this topicWho is at risk for elder abuse?● women and “oldest-old” (85+) are more likely to be victimized1● dementia, those with mental health/substance abuse issues, socially isolated, poor physical health● affects individuals across all SES levels, cultures, and ethnicitiesMost common perpetrators of elder abuse● victim’s own family members HISTORY OF GERONTOLOGY** Quetelet is considered the FIRST gerontologist **Principal concern - prolongation of life● Gruman (1966) in his History of Ideas about the Prolongation of Life suggested that the inevitability of dying led mankind to think about ways to extend life● Long-lived individuals were viewed with awe and received respect because they were thought to have magical powersAlexander Leaf' s studies of long-lived peoples● Harvard physician and pathologist visited many areas in which very long-lived people are reputed to exist. He collected empirical data on diet, work patterns, and health status.● Quality of life: integrated work and physical exercise with an adequate dietSir Francis Galton's studies of age differences● Biggest contribution: the data for 17 variables that he collected at the International Health Exhibit in London in 1884 for vital capacity, visual accuracy, reaction time, etc.● Showed that there were age differences in many human characteristics (hearing for high tones) and that most variables were correlated with chronological ageBenjamin Franklin's studies of aging● Possibility that lightning might influence the resurrection of deceased animals and people (since electricity had a stimulating effect, it would have a direct influence on the life span)● interested in ageing and rejuvenation. CAREERS IN GERONTOLOGYSeven categories of gerontological specialists● Direct Service Provision● program planning evaluation and administration● marketing and product development● advocacy● education and training● financial planning● researchDirect service provision● Provides care to frail elderly in hospital, nursing homes, and daycares 2● provides counseling to older people and their families ● provide health, legal, psychological, and social services Program planning evaluation and administration● Design, implement, and evaluate programs to meet the needs of older people. This work is usually performed by social services funded by the government● Administrators oversee the operation, staffing, expenditures, and evaluations of agencies and organizations for the elderly.Marketing and product development● These people assess the needs of older people and develop and market servicesand products to meet those needs ● examples: home health care, retirement communities Education and Training● Plan instructional programs for older people and their families● Growing need for education for practitioners who work with elderlyOthers teach courses on Adult Development and Aging in universities and collegesAdvocacy● Work as community activists to encourage the government and private sector to be responsive to the needs of older people● Non-profit organizations - to develop specific programs for health care, community services, and government policy●Financial planning● helping retirees invest their funds ● understand benefits provided by employer like social security and medicare● financial planners help elders choose various options for investing their money and explain tax consequencesResearch● Conduct basic research on aging processes or applied research that is concerned with the extent to which various programs meet the needs for elderly DEMOGRAPHYDemography - definition● science of population dynamicsFocus of demography - large population groups (not at the individual level)● level of society● generally focuses on large broad statistical groups within and across populations Definitions of 3 demographic indicators - ● 1) dependency ratio- number of individuals in the dependent segment divided bythe number of individuals in the supportive or working population3● 2) sex ratio- proportion of men to women in a population. ( number of men * 100/number of women) ● 3) birth cohort- all of the individuals who are born in a particular period of timeLongevity● length and quality of lifeLife expectancy at birth ● projects the average number of years of life for all

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UMD EDHD 400 - Lecture notes

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