Aging and the Elderly
The Individual and society coexist in such a way that the way society works is based on the knowledge gained from the elderly group of individuals who have contributed to the continuing change in the culture of the society. “Gerontology”, which is the study of aging and the elderly aids us in the understanding of aging. We try to understand this because with each year that passes, an individual’s mental, physical and social status change based on the many events that occur within that period. This type of understanding narrowed into studying the different generations of individuals to isolate the idea of “social experience” and is now known as “social gerontology”. Now the next question would be why we need to study aging? Aging is studied in order to better understand the idea of being old within a given society. Age does not solely mean the deterioration of the human body but it can also be viewed as a as a means of what the society is based upon. The social identity of an individual could be related to age. Many theories have been made around the idea of aging in terms of individual and society. Two theories explain the biological side of aging and these are the “wear and tear” and “genetic clock approach”. The wear and tear theory is mainly based on the natural deterioration of the human body due to deterioration of the DNA’s self-repair capacity. The genetic clock theory states that since every form of life has a limit to how long they can live which is true to even us humans. This means that our body has a genetic code that initiates the process of aging at a certain point in our time and that we have a time limit to how long we can live due to natural causes. Studying these biological theories of aging shows that another overtakes every generation due to the fact that no one lives forever. Seven theories explain the social side of aging and these are the disengagement theory, role theory, social exchange theory,...
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