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Chapter 16 Relationships in the Later Years. Chapter 16: Relationships in the Later Years Chapter Outline Age and Ageism Caregiving for the Frail Elderly—The.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 16 Relationships in the Later Years. Chapter 16: Relationships in the Later Years Chapter Outline Age and Ageism Caregiving for the Frail Elderly—The."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 16 Relationships in the Later Years

2 Chapter 16: Relationships in the Later Years Chapter Outline Age and Ageism Caregiving for the Frail Elderly—The “Sandwich Generation” Issues Confronting the Elderly Successful Aging Relationships and the Elderly Grandparenthood The End of One’s Life The Future of the Elderly in the U.S.

3 Chapter 16: Relationships in the Later Years Introduction Quote: Life’s a short trip. You’ll find out. You were seventeen yesterday. You’ll be fifty tomorrow. –Rodney Dangerfield, Comedian Discussion: You’ve heard the statement, “you’re only as old as you act.” Is this true?

4 Chapter 16: Relationships in the Later Years Introduction True or False? –“Mastery/competence” is the way elderly grandparents describe the experience of taking care of grandchildren.

5 Chapter 16: Relationships in the Later Years Introduction Answer: FALSE –Musil and Standing (2005) reported on the diaries of grandmothers who revealed stress in their full time role of grandmother as they coped with their grandchildren’s daily activities. –Bullock (2005) studied 21 grandfathers over the age of 65 who were involved in the active care of at least one grandchild. “Powerless” was the term used by these grandfathers to describe their experience.

6 Age and Ageism The Concept of Age A person’s age may be defined: –Chronologically –Physiologically –Psychologically –Sociologically –Culturally

7 Age and Ageism Ageism Every society has some form of ageism— the systematic persecution and degradation of people because they are old.

8 Theories of Aging Gerontology is the study of aging. Disengagement –Gradual and mutual withdrawal of the elderly and society from each other is a natural process. Activity –People continue the level of activity they had in middle age into their later years.

9 Theories of Aging Conflict –The elderly compete with youth for jobs and social resources. Age Stratification –Elderly represent a powerful cohort of individuals passing through the social system that affect and are affected by social change. Modernization –Status of the elderly is in reference to the evolution of the society toward modernization.

10 Theories of Aging Symbolic –Elderly socially construct meaning in their interactions with others and society. Continuity –Earlier habit patterns, values, and attitudes of the individual are carried forward as a person ages.

11 Caregiving for the Frail Elderly: The “Sandwich Generation” The “Sandwich Generation” is the generation of adults who are “sandwiched” between caring for their elderly parents and their own children. The number of individuals in the sandwich generation will increase for the following reasons: –Longevity –Chronic disease –Fewer siblings to help –Commitment to parental care –Lack of support for the caregiver

12 Caregiving for the Frail Elderly: The “Sandwich Generation” Food for thought… –Discussion: Suppose your father has Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home. He is 88 and no longer recognizes you. He has stopped eating. –Would you have a feeding tube inserted to keep him alive?

13 Personal Choices: Should I Put My Parents in a Long-Term Care Facility? Factors relevant in deciding whether to care for an elderly parent at home, arrange for nursing home care, or provide another form of long- term care include the following: 1. Level of care needed 2. Temperament of parent 3. Philosophy of adult child 4. Siblings 5. Length of time for providing care 6. Privacy needs of caregivers 7. Cost 8. Chain nursing home 9. Sexual orientation 10. Wishes or readiness of the elderly

14 Issues Confronting the Elderly Income Physical health Mental health Retirement Social Relationships Sexuality

15 Issues Confronting the Elderly Food for thought…

16 Successful Aging Torres and Hammarström (2009) interviewed 16 elderly people, ages 77 to 86, to identify their definitions of successful aging. They identified three factors: 1.Resources: physical, mental, social, and financial 2.Attitude 3.Continuity

17 Successful Aging Other factors in successful aging: –Not smoking or quitting early –Developing a positive view of life and life’s crises –Avoiding alcohol and substance abuse –Maintaining healthy weight –Exercising daily –Continuing to educate oneself –Having a happy marriage

18 Relationships in the Elderly Use of technology to maintain relationships –Over 40% of adults over the age of 50 use –Almost half (47%) of Internet users and 25% of users 65 and older use social networking sites such as Facebook. Relationship with spouse –Marriages that survive into late life are characterized by little conflict, considerable companionship, and mutual supportiveness. Relationship with one’s own children –With regard to relationships of the elderly with their children, emotional and expressive rewards are high. –Actual caregiving is rare.

19 Grandparenthood Styles of grandparenting: –The roles that grandparents play in children’s lives vary. Some are very active. Some serve as surrogate parents. Some have regular and positive contact.

20 Grandparenthood The “myth” of the happy grandmother: –The following are negatives that grandmothers identify: Conflict Demanding children Boredom Exploitation Ending of childbearing capacity

21 Grandparenthood Effect of divorce on grandparent- child relationship: –Divorced grandparents have less contact with grandchildren and participate in fewer shared activities with them.

22 Grandparenthood Benefits to grandchildren: –Grandchildren report enormous benefits from having a close relationship with grandparents: Development of a sense of family ideals Moral beliefs Work ethic

23 The End of One’s Life Death of One’s Spouse The death of one’s spouse is the most stressful life event individuals experience. Most women who live to age 80 have lost their husbands. Patterns women use to adjust to this lopsided man-woman ratio include dating younger men, romance without marriage, and “share-a-man” relationships.

24 The End of One’s Life Preparing for One’s Own Death Thoughts in the last year of life –Most thought about death and saw their life as one that would soon end. –Most did so without remorse or anxiety. Behaviors the last year of life –Aware that they are going to die, most simplify their life, disengage from relationships, and leave final instructions.

25 The Future of the Elderly in the U.S. The elderly will increase in number and political clout. By 2030, 30% of the U.S. population will be over the age of 55 (now 21%). The challenges of old age will be the same: coping with dwindling income, declining health, and the death of loved ones.

26 Quick Quiz 1.When are people considered old? a.when they begin to collect Medicare b.all of these choices c.when they develop an elderly self-concept d.when their physical capabilities diminish

27 Quick Quiz 2.The persecution and degradation of people due to their age is called: a.elder abuse b.gerontophobia c.gerontology d.ageism

28 Quick Quiz 3.Which of the following is the most important determinant of an elderly person's self-reported happiness? a.finances b.health c.strong family ties d.adequate housing

29 Quick Quiz 4.The elderly fear _____ more than _____. a.loss of a spouse; dying themselves b.the dying process; death c.nursing homes; long illness d.dying in their sleep; dying in a hospital

30 Quick Quiz 5.Which of the following is not considered a factor in successful aging? a.Early retirement b.Not smoking c.Exercise d.Continuing education


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