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Ch. 15 Physical and Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood

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keely rodriguez

on 14 May 2014

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Transcript of Ch. 15 Physical and Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood

Longevity, Biological Aging and Physical Development
Life expectancy has increased dramatically, but life span has not. In the U.S the number of people of people living to the age of 100 or older is increasing.
It is projected that "the older you get, the sicker you get." However, researchers are finding that is not true for some centenarians.
Centenarians from 100 to 119 years of age found that the older the age group, the later the onset of diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease will decline.
Biological Aging
There are four biological theories of aging:
Physical Development
Among physical changes the accompanying aging are slower movement and the appearance of wrinkled skin and age spots on the skin. There are also declines in perceptual abilities, cardiovascular functioning, and lung capacity. Many older adults' sleep difficulties are linked to health problems.
Seeing, hearing, and other aspects of sensory functioning are linked with our ability to perform everyday activities, and sensory functioning declines in older adults.
In late adulthood, the decline vision began for most adults in early or middle adulthood becomes more pronounced.
Health

The probability of disease or illness increases with age. Chronic disorders such as arthritis and osteoporosis, become more common in late adulthood.
Accidents are the sixth leading cause of death among older adults. Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among adults who are the age of 65 and older.
Cognitive Functioning
The Aging Brain
The aging brain retains considerable plasticity and adaptability
On average, the brain loses 5 to 10 percent of its weight between the ages of 20 and 90.
Some brain areas shrink more than others with aging. The prefrontal cortex is one area that shrinks, and recent research has linked this shrinkage with decrease in working memory and other cognitive activities in older adults
A general slowing of function in the brain and the spinal cord begins in middle adulthood and accelerates in late adulthood.
Ch. 15 Physical and Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood

Keely Rodriguez, Olivia Chhoy, Ila Sahagun
1. Evolutionary Theory- The view that natural selection has not eliminated many harmful conditions and non-adaptive characteristics in older adults.
2. Cellular clock theory- Leonard Hayflick's theory that the maximum number of times that human cells can divide is about 70 to 80. As we age, our cells become increasingly less capable of dividing.
3. Free radical theory- Theory of aging proposing that people age because normal cell metabolism produces unstable oxygen molecule known as free radicals. These molecules ricochet around inside cells, damaging DNA, and other cellular structures.
4. Hormonal stress theory- the theory that aging in the body's hormonal system can lower resilience under stress and increase the likelihood of disease.
Physical Development continued..
Three diseases that can impair the vision of older adults are
1. Cataract
2. Glaucoma
3. Macular degeneration
Hearing impairments usually does not become much of an impediment until late adulthood, usually due to degeneration of the cochlea, the primary neural receptor for hearing in the inner ear.
Around 60 years of age, most adults lose some of their sense of smell or test or both.
Changes in touch and pain are also associated with aging.
Although sexuality activity declines in late adulthood, many individuals continue to be sexually active as long as they are healthy.
Health Problems
Increasing numbers of older adults engage in part time work or volunteer work and continue being productive throughout late adulthood.
in the twenty-first century, the percentage of men over age 65 who are continuing to work full time is less than it was the beginning of the twenty-first century.
The decline from 1900 to the twenty-first century has been as much as 70 percent.
Some individuals maintain their productivity throughout their lives, working at least as many hours as younger workers.
Older adults are increasingly seeking some type of bridge employment that permits a gradual rather than a sudden movement out of workforce.
Older workers have lower rates of absenteeism, fewer accidents, and increased job satisfaction in comparison with their younger counterparts. This means that that older workers can be of considerable value to a company.

The physical benefits of exercise have been clearly demonstrated in older adults. Leaner adults, especially women, live longer, healthier lives.
Exercise helps people to live independent lives with dignity in late adulthood. At age 80, 90, and even 100, it can help prevent older adults from falling down or even being institutionalized.
Exercise is linked to prevention or delayed onset of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
About 3 percent of adults age 65 and older in the United States reside in a nursing home at some point in their lives.
The quality of nursing homes varies enormously. Alternatives include home health care, elder care centers, and preventive medicine clinics.
Exercise, Nutrition, Weight and Health Treatment
Work and Retirement
Work aspect
Work and Retirement
Retirement Aspect
Retirement is meant for a one-way exit from full-time work to full-time leisure.
According to leading expert Phyllis Moen described how today, when people reach their sixties the life path they follow is less clear:
1.Some individuals don’t retire and continuing about their career jobs
2.Some retire from their career work and then take up a new and different job
3. Some retire from career jobs but do volunteer work
4. Some move in and out of the workforce, so they never really had a “career” job from which they retire
5.Some individuals who are in poor health move to a disability status and eventually into retirement
6.Some who are laid off define it as “retirement”
With regard to retirement income, the two main worries of individuals as they approach retirement are:
-Drawing retirement income from savings
-Paying for health care expenses
Overall, Healthy, economically stable, educated, satisfied individuals with an extended social network adjust best to retirement.
While older adults are not as adept as middle-ages and, younger adults at complicated tasks that involve selective and divided attention, they perform just as well on measures of sustained attention.
Some aspects of memory, such as episodic memory, decline in older adults.
Episodic memory is the retention of information about the where and when of life’s happenings.
On the other hand, older adults are still able to retrieve their semantic memory.
Older adults who engage in cognitive activities especially challenging ones, have higher cognitive functioning than those who don’t use their cognitive skills.
Also, Components of executive functioning such as cognitive control and working memory decline in late adulthood.
Cognitive and fitness training can improve some cognitive skills of older adults, but there are some loss of plasticity in adulthood.
There has been considerable increased interest in the cognitive neuroscience of aging. A consistent finding is a decline in the functioning of the prefrontal cortex in late adulthood, which is linked to poorer performance in complex reasoning and aspects of memory.

Mental Health
Major depression is a mood disorder in which the individual is deeply unhappy, demoralized, self-derogatory, and bored.
The person does not feel well, loses stamina easily, has a poor appetite, and is unmotivated.
Among the most common predictors of depression in older adults are earlier depressive symptoms, poor health, disability, loss events such as the death of a spouse, and low social support.

Combinations of medications and psychotherapy produce significant improvement in almost four out of five older adults with depression.

However, depression is less common among older adults than younger adults.
A majority of older adults with depressive symptoms never receive mental health treatment
80 percent of older adults with depressive symptoms receive no treatment at all

Among the most debilitating of mental disorders in older adults are the dementias.
Dementia is a global term for any neurological disorder in which the primary symptoms involve a deterioration of mental functioning.
Individuals with dementia often lose stability to care for themselves and may become unable to recognize familiar surroundings and people – including family members.
Alzheimer is a progressive irreversible brain disorder characterized by a gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and eventually physical function.

Women are more likely to develop Alzheimer disease because they live longer than men and their longer life expectancy increases the number of years during which they can develop it.
Parkinson disease is chronic, progressive disease characterized by muscle tremors, slowing of movement, and partial facial paralysis.



Dementia, Alzheimer Disease &
Parkinson Disease

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