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Chapter 19. Stress and the Elderly. The Elderly. People over 65 years of age in this country: In 1900, 3 million people In 1990, 31 million people In 2001, 35 million people Elderly are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population

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chapter 19

Chapter 19

Stress and the Elderly

the elderly
The Elderly
  • People over 65 years of age in this country:
    • In 1900, 3 million people
    • In 1990, 31 million people
    • In 2001, 35 million people
  • Elderly are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population
  • Estimates are for 70.3 million over 65 years by year 2030
adjustments in the later years
Adjustments in the Later Years
  • Erikson (1963) identifies the “crisis” of late adulthood as acquiring a sense of integrity and fending off a sense of despair
  • Havighurst (1972) viewed life as a series of “developmental tasks” that one must master before moving forward
adjustments in the later years cont d
Adjustments in the Later Years, cont’d
  • Havighurst’s six developmental tasks of the elderly:
    • Adjust to decreased strength and health
    • Adjust to retirement and decreased income
    • Adjust to death of spouse
    • Establish an affiliation with one’s age group
    • Meet social/civic obligations
    • Establish satisfactory living arrangements
positive changes
Positive Changes
  • Grandchildren
  • Sometimes valued for knowledge and wisdom
  • Free time to pursue other interests

Stressors are adaptations that can have good results

exercise and the elderly
Exercise and the Elderly
  • Both male and female older adults can benefit from aerobic and strength training
  • Exercise helps maintain ability to live independently
  • Exercise reduces risk of dying from several diseases
  • Helps reduce blood pressure
  • Helps improve mood
retirement
Retirement
  • Significant event of one’s life
  • Affects retirees’ families as well as themselves
  • Requires adjustment, must find other ways to support self-worth and status
  • May reduce income
  • Ageism becomes a reality
caregiver of elderly
Caregiver of Elderly
  • Provide care for limited seniors
  • May experience stress of feeling captive to the needs of the elderly
  • Signs are:
    • Denial
    • Anger
    • Social withdrawal
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • Health problems
death and dying
Death and Dying
  • Dying becomes a major stressor; some people don’t fear death as much as the process of dying
  • Table 18.1 reviews the stages of ordinary grief (White & Gathman, 1973)
  • Studies reveal higher mortality rates after a stressful event such as bereavement (Helsing et al., 1981)
interventions
Interventions
  • Life-situation interventions
  • Perception interventions
  • Emotional arousal interventions
  • Physiological arousal interventions
chapter 1911

Chapter 19

Stress and the Elderly

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