The Connection Between Stereotypes Of Aging And The Practice Of Ageism
- Pages: 5
- Word count: 1077
- Category: Ageism
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- Describe the relationship between stereotypes of aging and the practice of ageism. How are they similar? How are they different? Be sure to include a definition and an example of each term.
Stereotypes are widely held positive or negative beliefs and assumption of older adults. Ageism is prejudice beliefs and assumptions based on age. The two terms are different because stereotypes can be positive or negative whereas ageism is inherently negative (Raina et al., 2015). For example, positive stereotypes include thoughts such as older adults are wiser or nicer. Whereas negative stereotypes include beliefs that an older adult can’t do a physically demanding job because of their age. They’re the same in the sense that ageism is usually a result of the negative stereotypes that older adults are less capable, intellectual, or competent based on nothing more than their age. If you hold these ageist stereotypes yet not let it dictate how you treat an older adult I personally don’t find that to be ageist because you realize there is no basis to your stereotypical beliefs.
- Define acute and chronic illnesses giving at least one example of each. How are these similar? Different? What are some unique challenges related to each of these that might be faced by older adults?
An acute disease or illness develop rapidly and causes dramatic changes in health (Cavanaugh, pg.103, 2015). The common cold, flus, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and infections are all examples of acute diseases. Acute illnesses can often be cured with little to no medical interventions. Chronic diseases on the other hand are long-term illnesses that can have lasting impairments on functioning. Chronic diseases usually aren’t considered to be curable. Cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease are all examples of chronic illnesses.
As people age they are at increased risk of chronic illnesses with 80% of older adults in 2014 having at least one chronic condition (Buttorff et al., 2017). Also, as people age they report less acute illnesses. However, when older adults develop acute illnesses they tend to have longer recovery times and more severe symptoms (Cavanaugh, pg.103, 2015). This is because their ability to fight off infections decreases. This inability to fight off infections results in higher mortality rates due to acute illnesses compared to their younger counterparts (Cavanaugh, pg.103, 2015).
- Imagine Alma is someone you love. She thinks that her current living situation isn’t best for her needs. She knows you are taking a course in Adult Development and Aging and asks you, based on what you’ve learned in this course, what type of living situation do you think would be best for her? State your answer and at least two reasons based on what we’ve learned in this course.
If she was pushing toward complete independence my first suggestion would be home modification. There are chair lifts available, so she would be able to get up and down the stairs. There are safety showers that could be installed that include a place to sit while showering as well as a hand rail for getting in and out of the shower. Also, a schedule could be made with family members to make sure she gets rides to where she needs/wants to go every week.
If Alma felt she was okay moving to a new place with other individuals I would suggest congregate housing. Because she can do most daily activities on her own assisted living and nursing homes don’t seem like a good fit. Congregate housing allows some levels of assistance while maintain independence (Cavanaugh, pg.139, 2015). In addition, congregate housing may be the best idea because Alma feels she isn’t able to socialize as much as she would like, and congregate housing enable socialization between house mates. Congregate housing is also much cheaper than other housing options (Cavanaugh, pg.139, 2015).
- Define and give an example of primary aging, secondary aging, and tertiary aging. How are these three concepts similar? How are these three concepts different?
Primary aging is the normal development of the human body free of disease, such as menopause (Cavanaugh et al., pg.13, 2015). It includes life changes caused by biological factors and is considered inevitable processes of aging. Secondary aging includes the development of the human body in the presence of disease, lifestyle risk factors, or environmental risk factors such as dementia or pollution (Cavanaugh et al., pg.13, 2015). These are usually considered to be controllable factors. Tertiary aging is the developmental decline of the human body shortly before death such as the terminal drop (Cavanaugh et al., pg.13, 2015). These processes are similar because everyone ages in their own way and these processes often influence how old we feel. These processes are different because while most people go through primary aging processes not everyone will go through the other two processes. What process one goes through depends on a whole life-time of factors.
- The two main research methods for examining changes in adulthood are cross-sectional and longitudinal research designs. Describe what each of these methods involves. Then, give one strength and one weakness for each method. Be sure to mention cohort effects in your answer!
Cross-sectional design research often aims to find developmental differences due to aging. To do this, researchers look at specific factors (such as memory) and compare individuals of different ages at the same time Cavanaugh et al., pg. 21, 2015). This form of research however is not without its faults. Because individuals are compared to individuals of a different age there tends to be cohort effects. Cohort effects suggest that differences measured between the two age groups (cohorts) are just as likely to be caused by the differences between environments and differences between ages (Cavanaugh et al., pg. 21, 2015).
Longitudinal research designs also aim to find developmental differences due to aging but differs in methodology. In longitudinal design research, the same individuals are tested on specific factors (such as memory) multiple times throughout their life (Cavanaugh et al., pg. 22, 2015). Longitudinal research designs tend to give a clearer picture of changes due to ageing because they’re retesting the same individuals. Despite longitudinal designs giving a better idea of age-related changes cross-sectional designs are more commonly used. This is because cross-sectional designs are exceptionally cheaper, faster, and have lower rates of participant dropout (Cavanaugh et al., pg. 21, 2015).