Essay on Aging

Essay on Aging

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When we are young we never think about what we are going to be like when we are 80 or 90. We just think of the present. Aging is something almost everyone experience’s in their lifetime. Everyone ages at their own rate and time, thus no one has the same experience. Some theorists believe that as we age we become disengage from society, others believe it’s the choices we make that cause disengagement from society. It’s something psychologists have argued for a long time. There is not a lot of research done on how adults age because of participant drop outs for a numerous amount of reasons; for example health issues, death or forgetting about the study all together. Older adults do not choose to become disengaged from society; the choices they make are the ones that fit their personal lifestyle the best.
According to theorist Cumming and Henry disengagement from society occurs to everyone and there is nothing anyone can do about it. It was one of the most controversial theories and has been argued by some of the top psychologist of its time (Achenbaum, 1994, p.756). Disengagement theory states it is an “inevitable process of aging whereby many relationships between the individual and society are altered and eventually severed” (Achenbaum, 1994, P. 758). In other words the relationship between the individual and society is unavoidable and that the alteration the individual and society makes is unnecessary. It all started with the University of Chicago’s committee on Human Development and their ideas about disengagement. It was believed that the social phenomena affected the elderly status of independence on their physical status. The data that was gathered was bias because it consisted of “3,000 white, English-speaking, mentally co...


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...sign, making and changing jewelry, knitting and sewing. Even though she lives alone she adopted a dog and has feral cats to take care of.
Though both theories are good and state a lot of great points, I believe older adults are more active in society than we give them credit for. It varies from person to person and depends on how healthy they are. My godmother is 80 years old and is still active in society as much as she can; she does have bad knees and is taking medications that have produced side effects. But she does the best she can considering her age and not having any family around. I disagree with the disengagement theory because I don’t believe older adults disengage from society or that society disengages from older adults. I believe that older people who choose to disengage from society is because of health issues or a loss of a significant other.

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