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What is the potential lifespan for humans?

120 years

How much of the life span is genetically determined vs environmentally determined?

35% genetically and 65% environmentally

Name the 2 types of Biologic Aging

1) Stochastic
2) non-stochastic


we age because of internal and environment (diet, exercise, infections, etc)


biological aging from a predetermined process (ie: genetics)

what are genetic factors of aging (non-stochastic) and give an example

humans inherit a genetic program which determines their life expactancy

have a process with in us to age

ex:women going through menopause around the same age as their mothers

autoimmune reactions

can affect how we age
Thymus and Bone Marrow are affected by the aging process
an increase in cancer as we age
immune response declines as we age

why is cancer more prevalent amongst the older population?

we develop abnormal cells all our life, as we age our bodies can no longer recognize as abnormal and do not destroy them, so they grow into cancers

What is a free radical and what does it do?

highly reactive molecule generated from normal oxygen metabolism.

attaches onto other cells and can cause damage

example of free radicals

tobacco smoke, pesticides, solvents

Give examples of things that can fight free radicals.

vitamin e and vitamin c

Too much vitamin E leads to

bleeding risks in the hypertensive

High doses vitamin c leads to

kidney stones, diarrhea

What is the wear and tear theory?

equates the body to a machine, proposes that a worn out tissue cannot continually renew itself.

What can help with the wear and tear theory

actual activity, it is show to help maintain life, high fiber diets also

What is the cross linkage theory?

proteins become enmeshed and impede metabolic processes

What can increase the rate of cross linkage?

aluminum, zinc and glucose

How can you decrease cross linkage?

Vitamin C

What are psychosocial theories of aging?

processes by which individuals meet the challenges of aging

As nurses, how do we apply the theories of aging?

1) be sensitive to own attitude towards aging
2) be aware that attitudes may foster hopelesness/helplessness

What is the disengagement theory?

individual and society mutually withdraw from each other
ex: retirement
as we age, the elder decided it is time to "pull back"

what is the Activity theory?

maintaining an active lifestyle contributes to physical and emotional well being.

**does not work for everyone, case by case basis

What is the continuity theory?

personality and basic patterns of behavior remain the same as the individual ages

the idea that you can continue in the lifestyle for as long as you can maintain it. ;ie:running

Erickson's Theory on Aging

you have stages you move through as you age, as you successfully resolve them, you age well

Erickson's theory of aging for age 65-death

Integrity vs despair

time of self reflection and looking over your life with acceptance (integrity)

despair: characterized by "I wish I had...", elder views life as a series of misfortunes

Peck's 3 expansion theories based on Erickson

differentiation vs role preoccupation
body transcendence vs body preoccupation
ego transcendence vs ego preoccupation

differentiation vs role preoccupation

deal with roles in our lives and be able to separate our self from our role

body transcendence vs body preoccupation

as we age, things happen to our bodies, things sag and droop etc. can we accept the changes our are we hung up on image.

ego transcendence vs ego preoccupation

accepting death vs being scared of dying...not ready etc

Major Tasks later in life outlined by Lewis and Butler

be able to adjust to one's infirmities
develop a sense of satisfaction with the life lived
prepare for death

Describe unique views of health and healing among hispanics

view health statuses as the actions of God, illness is a family affair

Describe unique views of health and healing among black americans

to survive old age is a major accomplishment that reflects strength, faith and resourcefulness, poverty influences health care, look to family for decision making

Describe unique views of health and healing among asian american

focuses on yin and yang, energy, family to help with decisions and that young family members care for the old

Describe unique views of health and healing among jewish americans

modern medicine is accepted, rabbi consulted on decisions, have certain rituals

Describe situational changes the elder client faces:
Family changes

becoming grandparents, offers more time and independence to the older adults, look for other ways to get sense of fulfillment

Describe situational changes the elder client faces: Loss of a Spouse

adjust to living alone, how to make ends meet, possibly get a job, get to renew friendships

Describe situational changes the elder client faces: Retirement:

a lot of elders find this an undesirable state because was raised to work hard for hings
a chance to develop other interests

Describe situational changes the elder client faces: reduced income

retirement income is less , not kept pace with inflation

Describe situational changes the elder client faces: declining function

changes in body function and appearance occur as we age. poor response, fatigue altered appearance

offer assistance with common changes

Describe situational changes the elder client faces:shrinking social world

loss of connections and loneliness

nurse should intervene when possible in isolation cases, help locate support groups etc

Describe situational changes the elder client faces: Societal Prejudice

old people are sick and disabled, dementia etc

nurse should help educate to change the perception of old people.

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