Theories of Aging

Theories of aging The disengagement and the activity theory were the two major theories that outlined successful aging in the early 1960s. The disengagement theory was created by Cumming and Henry and the activity theory was developed by Robert J. Havighurst both in 1961 however these theory’s are very different.

The disengagement theory of aging states that people are more likely to withdraw from life as they get older because of their decrease in physical, intellectual, emotional and social skills and their abilities to do certain things, their interests and expectations of how they should behave lower. It suggests that they willingly retire from work, relationships and disengage from roles, preferring to follow an inactive life and freely give up their traditional, normal ways of behaving, becoming less and less friendly and companionable and sometimes hostile in their interactions.

The theory claims that it is natural and acceptable for older adults to withdraw from society as they go through changes that will change their life, Retirement is an expected life event in everyone’s life and can effect the elderly very badly as they may not go out anymore or interact with anyone this will lower their social skills and could make them feel as though they don’t have anyone to talk to making them feel depressed and lonely, disengaging could lead to the individual developing dementia, depression or any other mental conditions.

The Elderly may disengage because of their physical state they may be unable to get out of the house and meet people because of disability or mental condition, they could also be unhappy with the way they look as their appearance will change they may become more wrinkly and get grey hair making them feel older this could lower their self esteem The activity theory argues that older people need to stay mentally and socially active in order to limit the risk associated with disengagement and doing this will make the aging process delay and the quality of life will be enhanced, when old people remain socially active and keep busy with a full round of daily activities and preserve a positive attitude to life they will feel younger and more able.

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The activity theory is beneficial for your health and happiness as keeping active will keep you fit and staying social with people that make u happy will boost your mood, this is good for the older generation as they can become distant and this can make them fell lonely and depressed. They should do what best suits their age, things that are calming and not to active and maintaining their joy until death. However, as people become older, events such as retirement and bereavement lower their social life loosing a husband or wife who might have been the only social companion they have would lower their social skills so they might have to find new friends or join a club to keep their social life active. Older people should have roles and be occupied in order to maintain their physical, intellectual, emotional and social skills this will improve their quality of life.

As they are older their physical development may decrease their chances of having an active lifestyle, things such as walking or moving could be a struggle for many old people making it hard for them to be successful in the activity theory, an example of an activity that could benefit older people with this theory is going to day centres this could help them because they will be doing other activities in the centre that could keep them active things such as fitness, day centres also help the elderly with their social skills as they would be meeting new people and communicating more, as they will be doing new activities within the centre things such as bingo, sudoku or quizzes this will widen their intellectual skills. In the day centre they may feel that because of their struggle to do certain activities that other people can do that they will feel different or be segregated from other people making their self esteem drop but on the other hand the other elderly people at the centre are their for the same reasons.

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