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Vaunette Payton Fay, Ph.D.

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1 Vaunette Payton Fay, Ph.D.
Theories of Aging Vaunette Payton Fay, Ph.D.

2 “Everyman desires to live long, but no man would be old.”
Johnathan Swift,

3 Theories of Aging Biological Theories
address the anatomic and physiologic changes occurring with age. Psycho-Social Theories explain the thought processes and behaviors of aging persons.


5 Biological Theories of Aging
Genetic Theories Gene Error Somatic mutation Programmed Nongenetic Theories Immunologic / Autoimmune Free Radical Wear & Tear Cross link or Collagen

6 Psycho-Social Theories of Aging
Disengagement Theory Activity Theory Continuity Theory

7 Disengagement Theory developed by Cummings and Henry in late 1950’s.
“aging is an inevitable, mutual withdrawal or disengagement, resulting in decreased interaction between the aging person and others in the social system he/she belongs to.”

8 Activity Theory developed by Robert Havighurst in the 1960’s.
supports the maintenance of regular activities, roles, and social pursuits. persons who achieve optimal age are those who stay active. as roles change, the individual finds substitute activities for these roles.

9 Continuity Theory proposed by Havighurst and co-workers in reaction to the disengagement theory “basic personality, attitudes, and behaviors remain constant throughout the life span”


11 ?????????????????????????????? What is the relevance of the biological and psychosocial theories of aging to nursing?

12 Developmental Tasks of Aging

13 Developmental Task an activity or event that arises at a certain period in the life of an individual successful achievement leads to happiness, growth, and success with later tasks failure leads to unhappiness, disapproval by society, and difficulty with later tasks (Havighurst, 1972)

14 What are some important roles that older individuals fulfill?
?????????????????????????????? What are some important roles that older individuals fulfill?

15 Erickson’s Developmental Stages
Young Adulthood (20-30) - Intimacy vs. Isolation Middle Adulthood (30-60) - Generativity vs. Stagnation Older Adulthood (60+) - Integrity vs. Despair Area of Resolution and Behavior: Intimacy - capacity for relationships vs. Isolation - impersonal relations

16 Peck’s Developmental Tasks of Aging
Ego Differentiation vs. Work-Role Preoccupation Body Transcendence vs. Body Preoccupation Ego Transcendence vs. Ego Preoccupation (Peck, 1968)

17 Havighurst’s Developmental Tasks of Aging
Adjusting to decreasing physical strength and health Adjusting to retirement and reduced income Establishing an affilitation with one’s age group Meeting civic and social obligations Establishing satisfactory living arrangements Adjusting to death of spouse


19 ?????????????????????????????? What are factors which influences a person’s success at achieving developmental tasks?

20 Nursing Interventions
How can nurses assist elders accomplish developmental tasks? encourage clients to maintain and establish roles and relationships offer maximum opportunities for decision making build on client’s unique interests ands skills listen to client’s concerns promote reminiscence (Eliopoulas,1995)

21 Common Psychosocial Changes
Assume Grandparent Role Adjust to Retirement Increase Volunteer Activity Maintain or Develop New Interests Cope with Death of Spouse, or S.O. Adjust to Change in Intimacy & Sexuality Cope with Relocation Cope with Losses

22 Coping with Psychosocial Changes & Developmental Crises
Support System Community Resources Counseling Prayer/Religion

23 Spirituality and Religiosity
These concepts are frequently confused. Studies have found that nurses tend to avoid addressing spiritual needs of patients.

24 Spirituality is the: “totality of man’s inner resources,
the ultimate concerns around which all other values are focused, the central philosophy of life that guides conduct, and the meaning-giving center of human life which influences all individual and social behavior” (Moberg, 1979) “trust & faith in a power greater than oneself” (levin & Taylor, 1997)

25 Religion is: only one aspect of spirituality;
an organized practice of beliefs; may or may not fill an individual’s spiritual needs eg. spiritual needs are much broader & more personal than any particular religious persuasion

26 Church and Synagogue Attendance is:
Lowest among those in their 30’s, Peaks in the late 50’s - early 60’s, Declines in late 60’s and early 70’s, however 65+ are the most likely to belong to church-affiliated groups

27 Research Findings: Black women tend to be significantly more religious than black men and whites of both genders (Levin & Taylor, 1993). Involvement in church activities tended to increase self-esteem (Krause, 1995). Religious preference & practice were inversely related to depressive symptomatology (Kennedy, 1996). Persons who attended religious services had lower mortality (Oman & Reed, 1998).

28 Nursing Interventions that enhances the spirituality of clients:
Presence and acceptance Active Listening & Touch Value clarification Discuss pt’s. source of strength & instill hope Conduct a spiritual assessment Call/make referral to clergy Pray, or obtain religious articles (Poncar,94; MacLennan & Tsai, 95)


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