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term used to indicate that an increasing proportion of a society’s population is elderly.
adults aged 65+
social gerontology
a discipline concerned with the study of the social aspects of aging. Studying aging requires a “sociological imagination”
can be defined as the combination of biological, psychological and social processes that affect people as they grow older.
Alzheimer’s disease
a degenerative disease of the brain resulting in progressive loss of mental capacity
Social aging
the norms, values, and roles that are culturally associated with a particular chronological age
disengagement theory
it’s functional for society to relieve people of their traditional roles when they become old, thereby freeing up those roles for other, younger persons.
Functionalist theories
emphasized how individuals adjusted to changing social roles as they aged and how the roles fulfilled by older adults were useful in society.
Socioemotional selectivity theory
states that older adults selectively choose to maintain fewer; but higher-quality, relationships as they age and experience declines in health.
Activity theory
a functionalist theory of aging that holds that busy, engaged people are more likely to lead fulfilling and productive lives
Continuity theory
the theory that older adults’ well-being is enhanced when their activities are similar to those done earlier in life
Conflict theories of aging
arguments that emphasize the ways in which the larger social structure helps to shape the opportunities available to the elderly. Unequal opportunities are seen as creating the potential for conflict.
Life course
the various transitions and stages people experience during their lives.
Social security
a government program that provides economic assistance to persons faced with unemployment, disability or agedness
a program under the US social security administration that reimburses hospitals and physicians for medical care provided to qualifying people over 65 yrs.
emotional loneliness
absence of an intimate confidant
social loneliness
absence of a broader social network
discrimination or prejudice against a person on the grounds of age
US advocacy group for people age 50+ formerly the American Association of Retired persons
Generational equity
the striking of a balance between the needs and interests of members of different generations