Many sociologists believe that, like childhood, the age status is socially constructed. Many discussions about old age are negative and stereotypical, therefore it is constructed as a problem. People have different critical stereotypes of elderly people, they see them as, slow, old fashioned, complaining all the time and many other traditional stereotypes. An example of this would be the Griffiths Report. This report claimed that the care of the elderly was pushing society to facing the problem of meeting the growing costs that health and social care needs in order to help the growing number of elderly people. There has also been a recent fear of the ‘pension time bomb’ this has also caused some negative attitudes and concerns that the ageing population creates a
Knowing and having an understanding of what ageing stands for, remains an important step, growing-up or growing older and ageism are theories about older individuals. Ageism includes preconceptions that elderly are categorized for their age and perceived as weak, and incapable of performing tasks and needy of others (Quadagno, 2014). Another view about elderly individuals is the way they are looked down on by the younger society, i.e. elderly are not as intelligent as their younger competitive working force. People fear what they do not know and do not understand. Age transpires as something that must be lived through in order to understand what ageing means; looking back on one’s life and seeing accomplishments made,
After spending an afternoon interviewing my elderly father-in-law, I gained insight into how he perceives the aging process and the impact on the quality of his life. First, and foremost he viewed aging in a very positive and healthy manner. He believes that a positive attitude assists in accepting physical and psychosocial changes and enjoyed the fact that he and his wife are both physically fit and cognitively alert. He felt confident that advances made in health care and the quality of their lives would continue to be empowering. He enjoys the benefits of being a senior citizen including discounted travel, free education, and other incentives marketed towards seniors. He expressed a sense of well-being with respect to the numerous
Analyzing of Ageism and Stereotypes Associated with Late Adulthood. In every stage of development persons have stereotypes attached to various stages. The late adulthood stage has various stereotypes about what happen to individuals during this phase. Berger (2008) states that some of the stereotypes associated with the elderly is that they are not interested in sex, incompetent sexually, approaching senility or they are already there, old-fashioned, and inflexible. Hence, these stereotypes project them as lacking energy, fragile, submissive, dependent, irritable, and drained.
There is a perceived notion that Eastern societies view aging in a positive aspect, while Western societies view aging in a negative light. Although there is much emphasis on respect for elders on the Confucian societies, however, does East Asia’s treatment of the Elderly really differ from North America’s treatment? In the Perceptions of Aging in Two cultures: Korean and American views on Old Age, the authors are able to prove their thesis that through previous studies by Harwood et al that countries such as South Korea, Philippines and Hong-Kong do not necessarily hold positive views on of old age. In this study, to better understand beliefs and perceptions of aging, Koreans were expected to have a greater fear of old people, worry more about their physical appearance, and show greater levels of anxiety over aging more than their American counter parts. Although American women were expected to show more anxiety towards their physical appearance more than their male counterparts. Such perceptions on older people have an effect on the mental, physical and emotional health of elderly people. The many negative stereotypes about seniors affect how seniors see themselves and how society views them. These stereotypes are usually “regarding their physical and cognitive abilities”. Although these stereotypes may seem harmless, they hold serious ramifications to which affects the elderly participation in activities which may improve their physical or cognitive abilities. These
The humanity of aging is a concept sometimes hard to grasp. Understanding why we are
When most people envision an elderly person, their minds go to the iconic little old lady or man. They automatically think about them having psychological ailments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. With this assumption comes many unfair prejudices in the work place or other
The aging of society has not significantly changed our perceptions of the elderly. Ageism is widespread in Western societies (Dionigi, et al, 2011). Older adults are seen as boring, grumpy irritable, weak, debilitated, mournful, and most significantly cognitively. These stereotypes which are negative can be allowed by the aged themselves negative self-stereotyping (Dionigi, et al, 2011) and are as well found among specialized caregivers (e.g., Cowan, Fitzpatrick, Roberts, & While,2004). The image in relation to which older adults are more ineffectual than younger adults is predominantly dominant. Nevertheless, in a variety of domains, older adults are inclined to have analogous performances and at times even do better than younger
Myths of Aging Leslie L. Sanderford GRO320 Instructor Peggy Allen June 13, 2011 Largest among the growing populations is the age group 65 and older. This course required us to complete Dr. Woolf’s myths of aging quiz. This quiz has 25 questions all about aging issues.
An experiment performed on young and old people showed that when the participants were told negative stereotypes about their intellect they performed worse on memory tests than those who were not told a stereotype. This research concludes that negative stereotypes have a negative effect on a person’s mental capacity and increases their mental aging. The finding that negative thoughts about elders magnifies their mental decline is seen in another experiment performed on older American and Chinese people to test the mental aging across cultures. The Chinese elders, who are generally optimistic about their age, performed higher on different skill tests than the American elders, who are generally unhappy with aging, did. This shows that aging may be due to social reasons as well as natural aging. Ageism occurs almost everywhere, including hospitals and doctor’s offices. Many health professionals do not want to work with older patients because of the general stereotypes for old people and they sometimes do not receive the proper care and treatment that they need. This discrimination in the health care system adds to the decline of physical and mental health in older people. People who believe the age stereotypes are more prone to becoming those stereotypes. Getting rid of these negative stereotypes and not viewing aging as bad can improve a person’s mental and physical health as they age and help them live longer. Elders who tend to fall into the negative stereotypes tend to have a higher mortality rate than those who do not. Pushing positive views of aging and older people can greatly increase their overall quality of life. There are many different ways to eliminate negative views of aging. Being more open to the idea of growing old and retiring, shining light on the benefits of a great life after retirement, having strong social bonds, educating people of all ages
Beliefs of being needy, hopeless, senile, inactive is its theme; in other words older adults are far less valuable than their youthful counterparts; a stereotypical idea acquired prior to one becoming old. Positive images of aging influences younger people view of later life by challenging stereotypes that were aforesaid. Furthermore, it serves as a breeding ground for successful aging. Images reflecting the older adult having a degree of control over their environment, actively participating in life through interactions or helping others contests notions that older adults are needy.
Aging and being old was dominated by negative characteristics and conditions such as illness, depression, and isolation for a long time (Eibach, Mock, & Courtney, 2010). At first glance the terms “success” and “aging” seem to be in conflict to each other. When asking people about aging, their answers have many facets that are also found in psychological definitions: successful aging is seen as health, maturity and personal growth, self-acceptance, happiness, generativity, coping, and acceptance of age-related limitations. In the psychological sense successful aging is also often seen as the absence of age-associated characteristics (Strawbridge, Wallhagen, & Cohen, 2002). It seems that successful aging means is not aging.
Abstract This literature review examines how anti ageing stereotypes in western cultures affects the health of elder people. Negative and positive stereotypes are learned and reinforced as we grow up and then are self internalized when we become “old”. By examining numerous studies and different research, have found that negative stereotypes have adverse affects on older people and that internalized positive stereotypes can benefit older peoples health. Throughout this
Successful aging is a complicated and multifaceted concept that varies contextually among individuals, disciplines, and even time. Gerontologists have traditionally considered a person to have aged successfully upon having reached old age with their physical health, mental well-being and spirit still intact. Ultimately, successful aging is a matter of personal perspective, largely influenced by an individual 's values and experiences. Even those within America 's elderly population hold conflicting perspectives on what it means to have aged successfully. A qualitative study published by Reichstadt and Sengupta titled Older Adults ' Perspectives on Successful Aging, concluded that “older adults viewed successful aging as a balance between self-acceptance and self-contentedness on one hand and engagement with life and self-growth in later life on the other” (Reichstadt, "Older Adults ' Perspectives on Successful Aging: Qualitative Interviews", pp. 567-575.)
Another supporter of changing the way aging is conveyed is author, Margaret Cruiksbank, of the book, Learning to be Old. In her book she is a proponent of changing the way the aging process is described. Her position is that the underlying meaning of popular terms to describe aging weakens its value. She denotes that the term “successful aging” is a false phrase for the elderly as it “masks both the wish to continue mid-life indefinitely and the white, Middle-class, Western values of researchers, causing them to emphasize productivity, effectiveness and independence” (Cruiksbank, 2009, p. 2). She also concludes that the term “productive” aging symbolizes “economic usefulness and social conformity” (Cruiksbank, 2009, p. 2), especially for the female gender. More importantly, these terms can be used to measure. This ability to measure is subjective to the questioner and an individual’s self-worth. She suggests the term “aging comfortably” as it signifies easiness, and a “faint hint” of pleasurable self-indulgence which may not have been possible in younger years (Cruiksbank, 2009, p. 3).