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RN Gerontology

Theories of Aging

QuestionAnswer
Programmed Theory * proposes that every person has a “biologic clock” that starts ticking at the time of conception. Each ind has a genetic program specifying an predetermined number of cell division. Atrophy of the thymus, menopause, skin changes & graying of the hair
Run-Out-Of-Time theory * proposes that every person has a limited amount of genetic material that will run out over time
Gene Theory * proposes that existence of one or more harmful genes that activate over time, resulting in the typical changes seen with aging and limiting the life span of the ind. Certain cultures age differently due to skin pigmentation
Somatic Mutation Theory * proposes that aging results from DNA damage caused by exposure to chemicals or radiation, and that this damage causes chromosomal abnormalities that lead to disease of loss of function later in life
Free radical theory * excessive accumulation of free radicals in the body contributes to the physiologic changes of aging & different diseases; arthritis, circulatory, diabetes & atherosclerosis. free radicals can be reduced by antioxidants
Crosslink or Connective tissue theory * cell molecules from DNA & connective tissue interact with free radicals to cause bonds that decrease the ability of tissue to replace itself. Results in the skin changes; dryness, wrinkles, loss of elasticity
Clinker theory Combines the somatic mutation, free radical, and crosslink theories to suggest that chemicals produced by metabolism accumulate in normal cells and cause damage to body organs, such as the muscles, heart, nerves and brain
Wear and Tear Theory presumes that the body is similar to a machine, which loses function when it’s part wear out. When enough damage occurs to the body’s parts, overall functioning decreases. Ambulate with swimming, stretching and low impact exercise.
Neuroendocrine Theory * focuses on the complicated chemical interactions set off by the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is less precise in regulating endocrine function. Changes such as decreased muscle mass, increased body fat & changes in reproductive function.
Immunologic Theory * proposes that aging is a function of changes in immune system. Which weakens over time, making an aging person more susceptible to disease. the inc in autoimmune diseases and allergies seen with aging is caused by changes in the immune system.
Disengagement Theory proposed that older people are systematically separated, excluded or disengaged from society because they are not perceived to be of benefit to the society as a whole.
Activity Theory proposes that activity is necessary for successful aging. Active participation in physical and mental activities helps maintain functioning well into old age
Erikson's Theory * 1. Trust vs. Mistrust 2.Autonomy vs. Shame and doubt 3. Initiative vs. guilt. 4. Industry vs. inferiority. 5.Identity vs. Confusion. 6. Intimacy vs. Isolation. 7. Generativity vs. stagnation. 8.Integrity vs. despair
Havighurst's Theory * Adjusting to- decreased physical strength and health, retirement and decreased income, the loss of a spouse. Establishing a relationship with one’s age group. Adapting to social roles in a flexible way. Establishing satisfactory living arrangements
Newman's theory coping with the physical changes of aging. Redirecting energy to new activities and roles; retirement, grandparenting and widowhood. Accepting one’s own life, developing a POV about death
Jung's Theory* proposes that development continues throughout life by a process of searching, questioning and setting goals that are consistent with the ind personality. Search for the “true self”
Physical Theories * although biology places some limitations on life and expectancy, other factors are subject to behavior and life choices. Help ind achieve the longest, healthiest lives possible by promoting good health maintenance practices
Psychosocial Theories * help explain the variety of behaviors seen in the aging population. Understanding these theories can help nurses recognize problems and provide nursing interventions to help aging ind successfully meet the developmental tasks of aging
Peak years of physical functions Late Teens to Late thirties
Leading cause of diseability for elderly heart Disease
Xerosis (dry skin) dec function of sebaccous and sweat glands
Cartilage Allows free movement of the joint surfaces
Emphysema Changes in the structure of alveoli
Cerebrun largest part of the brain
Glaucoma increased pressure in the eyes
Cerebellum damage results in loss of ability to maintain precise muscular coordination and fine cooperative actions of the motor processes called ataxia).
Cerebrum damage occipital lobe can lead to hampered vision. temporal lobe can lead to hearing and balance impairments. parietal and frontal lobe can lead to loss of memory, learning skills, coordination, reasoning etc
Medulla Damage It often kills the person, because the medulla controls several autonomic functions, like breathing, heart rate, etc.
Created by: smarti13