Theories of Aging

Topics: Gerontology, Old age, Ageing Pages: 4 (1561 words) Published: June 7, 2011
Lifestage Development
Theories of Ageing
For this part of the assignment I am going to be describing two theories of ageing. Firstly I will be describing the Disengagement theory and then the Activity theory. I will then be comparing the similarities and differences between the two, and also writing up two case studies of older people and explain the development that occurs in older life, relating back to the theories I will have discussed. Firstly the theory of Social Disengagement, disengagement means a person’s withdrawal from involvement with anything. The theory was first put forward by two authors Cumming and Henry in 1961 who believed that it was natural for the elderly to withdraw from social involvement with others, due to having restricted opportunities to interact with other people. There are many issues that limit social interaction which results in disengagement. Some of these may be things like retirement, ill health, mobility, travel or technology. The theory of disengagement was widely accepted as other theorists such as Bromley (1974) agreed with the theory arguing that “although some individuals fight the process all the way, disengagement of some sort is bound to come, simply because old people have neither the physical not the mental resources they had when they were young.” Secondly the Activity theory, this theory argues that older people need to stay mentally and socially active to limit the risks of disengagement. Being active in older life can help people to overcome many of the problems and issues they will have to endure throughout the older lifestage. Being active can include taking part in sports and activities, joining clubs and groups to go on trips, outings, holidays and even simple things like continuing with hobbies such as gardening or walking the dog. Being active is very important for many reasons when a person is in the later years of life. It is believed that it’s not enough to simple provide facilities for older people...
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