by Barbara Riley-Baker, BA, MA, CMC, C.P.G.
GERONTOLOGY is the study of aging from a variety of perspectives; psychological, socioeconomical, physiological, historical and clinical.
Middle Ages (England)
1620 Massachusetts Bay Colony
2040 US 83 (women)
Live Expectancy, Years
47.3 (4% of Pop. 65+)
75.4 (12.5 of Pop. 65%)
Americans who make it to age 65 can expect to reach 82.
ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING: eating, bathing, grooming, getting in and out of bed, dressing, toileting. With increased age there is an increased need for assistance.
|AGE||% that need help with Activities of Daily Living|
Death of a spouse
Death of close family member
Injury or illness
Being fired at work
(Holmes and Rahe, 1976)
With age we have fewer taste buds. There are also changes in the olfactory bulb, the organ in the brain responsible for smell. These changes cause food to taste less appealing.
Older adults may have difficulty in distinguishing between the colors of blue, green and violet due to yellowing of the lens in the eye. Depth perception diminishes and sensitivity to glare increases due to changes in the eye.
(Whittemore, Margaret, P. University of Central Okalahoma)
(Papalia, Camp, Feldman. (1996). Adult Development and Aging. McGraw-Hill).
Perhaps Robert Browning in his immortal poem “Rabbi Ben Ezra”, sums up for us how society and each individual in society should address the issue of aging.
“Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.
The last of life, for which the first was made;
Our times are in His hands, who saith,
A whole I planned, Youth shows but half,
Trust God: see all, nor be afraid.