Development Through The Life Stages

Disengagement Theory – The disengagement theory was created by Cumming and Henry in 1961 they claimed that older people make a positive and active effort to withdraw from life as a response to their physical, intellectual, emotional, social skills, abilities, they diminish all interests and some even their expectations of how they should behave.

They had suggested that older people willingly retire from work, willingly withdraw from relationships and disengage from roles, prefer to be inactive and they become less friendly. In 1975 Cumming had argued that all older people would become less concerned with others expectations he also argued that it was healthy and appropriate for older people to withdraw from others and that disengagement is natural part with ageing.

Activity Theory – The activity theory was created by 2 mean called Lemon and Peterson in 1972 they had a more optimistic view of the aging compared to the disengagement theory. They had claimed that older people would age healthier when they maintain their relationships, roles, keep their self-busy with day-to-day activities and maintain a positive attitude to life. In addition the more social contacts, positive attitude and activities an elderly individual has the better their quality of life would be.

Although as people become older unfortunate of events take place such as retirement and bereavement and these diminish their social networks and social contacts another theorist named Bromley had argued in 1966 that older people needed to remain active so it would prevent disengagement from going to far Bromley also argued that elderly people need to be educated and to be encouraged to be more active.

Each individual age differently there are many changes both physical and psychological that can occur during the ageing process some people may experience many of these changes others may not go though as many go though as many. Also some individuals may go though these changes at an earlier age where as others may not until a later stage some physical changes could happen is skin, bones, joints and muscles, the senses, organs, hormones and different body systems. There are also May psychological changes that can occur within an individual including personal confidence and self-esteem.

Physical Changes:

Cardiovascular System – The heart pumps the blood around the whole body in order to carry oxygen so the develop will be able to breathe elderly people may develop narrow arteries and other blood vessels this would be cause because of fats that have been increased inside the body which increase cholesterol levels so the walls of the arteries would gradually become blocked. This process may consequently end up in an increase of blood pressure, which would put the individual at risk of a stroke this is when blood is unable to reach the brain and could even cause a heart attack. At this life stage the heart is used the hardest the arties harden and the heart beats faster to ensure that the individual is still alive this would also cause an heart attack with increasing age the heart would become more vulnerable to disease.

Respiratory System – Supplies are blood with oxygen in order to deliver oxygen to all parts of body the respiratory system does this though breathing when we breathe we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide this exchange of gases is the respiratory system meaning of oxygen to the blood. As individual ages their respiratory muscles become weak and would result to them becoming breathless. Many parts of the body such as the chest muscles and the lungs may reduce so they would not function properly this may be because both the body and the individual are becoming weaker due to the less function of the blood supply the capacity would decrease with age. Elderly people are vulnerable to emphysema a disease where the lungs may deteriorate due to their alveoli is being damage in this case it may cause the elderly individual to become breathless.

Nervous System – Is a network of nerves and cells that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord to various parts of the body. As people age their brain and nervous system had natural changes such as the brain and spinal cord lose nerve begin to slowly transmit messages then they would had in the past the breakdown of nerves can affect the senses elderly people would have reduced or lost reflexes which could lead to problems with movement and safety. These changes are not the same in everyone some people may have many physical changes in their nerves and brain tissue.

Skin Changes – Is the most visible signs of ageing such as wrinkles and sagging skin, whitening or graying of the hair is another side of ageing. Skin is the largest organ of the body it protects you fro, the environment and helps control your body temperature. Skin has many layers such as the outer part epidermis the skin cells, pigment and proteins the middle part contains blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles and oil glands the dermis provides nutrients to the epidermis the inner layer under the dermis contains sweat glands, some hair follicles, blood vessels and fat each layer also contains connective tissue with collagen fibers to give support and elastic fibers.

As you age the outer skin layer thins the number of pigment cells decreases the skin becomes thinner, pale and clear large pigmented spots may appear such as liver spots. Changes in the middle layer skin the connective tissue reduces skin elasticity the blood vessels of the dermis become more fragile this can lead to bruising and bleeding under the skin, the fat layer thins reducing its normal insulation and padding this can increase the risk of skin injury and reduce your ability to maintain body temperature which could lead to illnesses such as hypothermia the sweat glands produce less sweat this could make it harder to keep cool and could increase their risk of becoming over heated or developing heat stroke.

Bone Changes – The skeletal system is an organ, which provides the shape and form for individual’s body it also supports, protects allows our body to move and stores minerals. It is separated into 2 sections the axial, which includes the skull, the sternum, the ribs, the vertebral and the appendicualr extremities include the arm, legs, shoulders, pelvis, spinal column, hyoid bone and scapula. The skeletal system stores important minerals like protect are inner organs the skeleton consist of all bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and teeth. As we age the skeleton changes and this can result to bones becoming weaker where the individuals are more at risk to fall down bones become weak and at risk to fall down bones become weak and can cause an inactivate lifestyle which can cause bone wastage, hormonal changes in women can cause a loss of minerals in bone tissue and the bones lose calcium.

The joints do not directly touch the bones they are cushioned by a cartilage that lines the bones joints are formed at the end of 2 bones they come together to hold the bones together to allow them to move. There are many different types of joints such as the ball and socket joint, condylod joints, gliding joint, hinge joint, pivot joint and the saddle joint. As we age are joints become stiffer and less flexible because of the less synovial fluid in the joints and the cartilage becomes thinner of the individual continues being inactive this can cause the cartilage to shrink and stiffen reducing joint mobility.

Organ Changes – The human body is made up of several organ systems that work together as one unit. Organs living tissue is made of cells there are many different types of cells but have a basic structure. Tissues are layer of similar cells that perform a specific function all types of tissue supports other tissue blood internal organs; epithelial tissue provides a covering for the deeper body. Muscles tissue like the striated muscle that helps move the skeleton the smooth muscle consist of the stomach and other internal organs, the cardiac muscle which makes up most of the heart wall.

As elderly people age their cell experience changes they become larger and are less able to divide and multiply this can cause sells to lose their ability to function and begin function abnormally among other changes there are also an increase in pigments and fatty substances called lipids. Waste products start to build tissue called lipofuscin the connective tissue becomes more stiff which can cause organs, blood vessels and airways more rigid cell membranes change which can cause trouble getting oxygen and nutrients.

Psychological Changes:

Hormonal Changes – Are chemical messengers produced by a cell or gland these messengers are sent out from 1 part of the body to effect cells in the rest of the body hormones are usually released in to the blood stream. Hormones have different side effects on our body such as mood swings, control reproductive cycle, cause hunger/cravings, prepare our body for puberty, childbirth and menopause. As we age changes naturally occur and the amount of hormones produced may change this can affect us such as blood levels of some hormones increases or decrease and hormones break down more slowly.

Menopause – Is a normal condition that all women would experience as they age menopause is the changes a woman goes though either before or after she stops menstruating making an end to her reproductive period. Some women are born with finite number of eggs which are stored in their ovaries/ ovary they produce a hormone called estrogen which regulate menstruation and ovulation. Menopause happens when the ovaries/ ovary are no longer releasing an egg every month so their periods stops. Menopause usually takes place at the age of 40 onwards but some women experience menopause early sometimes because of surgery or damage to the ovaries.

Self Esteem – Is an individuals overall sense of self worth or personal value people with poor self esteem tend to rely on the compliments from friends/family to help counteract the negative feelings and thoughts even though it may be temporary. Healthy self-esteem is based on our ability to assess ourselves and accepting who we are this could mean being able to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses. As we age our level of self-esteem is not the same for every individual it can mature or deterote.

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