Thechapter focuses on the challenges of middle-aged persons ranging fromthe age of 30 to 50. There are various changes both in physical andhealth. The changes in appearance are attributed to hormones andactivity levels such as work and child rearing. People will begin tonotice a significant amount of wrinkles, gray hair, and possibleboldness among men. Moreover, a lot of individuals gain weight.However, people have varying psychological reactions to the signs ofaging. There are also changes in bones and joints. Loss of bone massis common among women. The bones become weaker and take long todevelop. One of the common diseases is osteoporosis which causes thebones to become porous and easy to break. It results from the declinein calcium and estrogen after menopause. Other changes includeosteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Reproductivechanges are more severe in women than men. Women experience bothclimacteric and menopause. There is a loss of the ability to bearchildren and menstruation. Estrogen-related and somatic symptoms areoften associated with menopause and climacteric. Somatic symptomsinclude headaches, insomnia, and stiffness of joints.Estrogen-related symptoms include night sweats, vaginal dryness, andhot flashes. The decline in the level of estrogen is associated withweight gain, memory loss, osteoporosis, and urinary inconsistency.Hormone replacement therapy can be used to treat the symptoms ofmenopause although it has adverse effects which include breast andendometrial cancer. Reproductive changes in men involve the declinein sperm count, enlarging prostate gland, and decrease intestosterone. The middle age individuals experience stress becausethey do not have control of their situation since it exceeds personaland social aspects of their lives. Stress sets back physical healthbecause of its influence on the immune system. When managing stress,it is important to incorporate exercise among middle-aged patients.
Chapterfourteen focuses on the characteristic of the older adults based ontheir demographics, diversity, and longevity. There has been atremendous increase in the aging population in the developing anddeveloped nations. In the United States (U.S.) older women outnumberolder men. With better education, people can live longer because ofhigh income levels which translate to access to better health care.Men and women’s life expectancy is 75.4 and 80.4 yearsrespectively. Life expectancy depends on genetics, environment, andsocial class factors. Older adults can be distinguished by eitherthird or fourth age. The third age comprises of those individualsbetween the ages of 60 – 80 while fourth age comprises of thoseabove 80 years. Third age generations have increased life expectancy,high emotional and personal well-being, and an improved physical andmental fitness. The fourth generation has sizeable losses incognition ability and learning potential, increase in chronic stress,and high prevalence of dementia. There are various biologicaltheories of aging. Rate-of-living theory is concerned with creature’sage and metabolism. Cellular theory relates aging with chromosomes’telomeres. A cross-linking theory is about deficiency in particularproteins which lead to less flexibility in arteries and muscles. Aprogram theory is concerned with genetically programmed cell death.
Thereare physiological, cardiovascular, and sensory changes among theolder adults. Some of the conditions include Alzheimer, hypertension,color blindness, presbycusis, diabetes, and cancer. Since memoryproblems are common among older adults, E-I-E-I-O framework has beenestablished to manage the challenge. The interventions combineexplicit vs. implicit memory with external vs. internal memory aids.Cognitive and behavioral therapy are important in treating depressionin older people. Alzheimer disease is a form of dementia most commonin old age. It is characterized by difficulty communicating, adecline in memory, personal care, and judgment. Alzheimer isgene-oriented. Though it cannot be treated or prevented, drugs can beadministered to provide little long-term relief. Other diseasesinclude Parkinson and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
Chapterfifteen looks at the social aspects of later life such aspsychosocial stages. They include those social challenges and loss ofindependence. It looks at the old age on psychosocial perspectives.With the issues such as diseases and memory losses, successful agingfocuses on the positive outcomes that seek to strengthen socialengagement and well-being. Continuity theory is where an individualuses familiarly remembered strategies to cope with daily life. Thecompetence-environmental press model looks at the upper limit ofphysical health and the interpersonal or social demand ofenvironment. A balance should be struck between the environmentalpress and competence. People with high competence are proactive whilethose with little are docile. Subjective well-being increases withage with older women experiencing less subjection than men. Thereflection of past experiences and events may either promoteintegrity or despair.
Spiritualitysuch as meditation and religious faith is of significance to oldpeople as it helps them cope with life. Retirement adversely affectsolder adults, particularly when involuntary. A social convoy isessential in old age. They provide support both at good and badtimes. Marriages and having children is a sense of satisfaction in anolder couple as they help in coping better with the variouschallenges. Frail older adults have a physical disability, cognitiveand psychological disorders. They are prone to depression and anxietydisorders. Most adults prefer living independently as opposed toassisted living or nursing home. The most common type of abuse amongolder adults includes neglect, physical abuse, and financial ormaterial exploitation. Social Security and Medicare were created tosupplement older people savings and other types of support.