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Attitudes Towards Older People

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Attitudes towards Older People

Attitudes and treatment towards elderly people can be said to vary drastically
across cultures. From Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the America's, Africa and
Australia, the attitudes expressed by the community towards older people are very
different when compared to one another.

An `attitude' can be defined as `a mental view or disposition' (Wilkes & Krebs,
1987), or if the content is used in has a psychological basis ` the learned, relative
stable tendency to respond to people, concepts, and events in an evaluative way'
(Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2002).

When discussing `older people' there is no way of determining an exact
definition that all people will agree on, as it is a socially defined term. However,
characteristics of old age include the deterioration of sensory processes. That is,
vision, hearing, smell and taste may show signs of decline in strength. Vision may
become clouded or even faded, the eye begins to have greater difficulty focusing and
bright light or glare becomes harder for the pupil to adapt to. Loss of hearing can also
become a major problem in old age as high frequency sounds become harder to
detect. The ability to maintain balance becomes more difficult which relates and is a
result of ear problems. Both taste and smell may deteriorate also. The sensation of
touch diminishes, including elements such as pain, muscle movement and vibration.
Reduced muscle strength, memory loss, slower reaction time and slower processing
of data by the brain include some functional losses that may occur as a result of
aging. These characteristics can be applied to the elderly population as a whole.
Although not all individuals will experience these ...

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AKIYAMA, Horoko; ANTONUCCI, Toni; TAKAHASHI, Keiko; LANGFORD, Elizabeth, `Negative Interactions in Close Relationships Across the Life Span' 1995
`Journals of Genrontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences'
Accessed 25/5/03

OKORODUDU, Dr. Corann; BROWN, Esmeralda; JUXIN, Dr. Di, `Multicultural perspectives on living in an ageing world: towards a new world paradigm on ageing'
`Journals of Genrontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences'
Accessed 25/5/03

MONKARE, Sinikka, `Stay Active, Stay Secure' 1999
Accessed 25/5/03

GERRIG, Richard J & ZIMBARDO, Philip G., `Psychology and Life' (17th edition) 2002, Boston, Allyn and Bacon.

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