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31 Cards in this Set

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Ageism
A prejudice in which people are categorized and judged solely on the basis of their chronological age.
Elderspeak
A condescending way of speaking ot older adults that resembles baby talk, with simple, and short sentence, exaggerated emphasis, repetition, and a slower rate and a higher pitch than normal conversation.
Gerontology
The multidisciplinary study of old age.
Geriatrics
The medical specialty devoted to aging.
Demography
The study of the characteristics of the human populations, including size, birth and death rates, density, and distribution.
Centenarian
A person who has lives 100 years or more.
Dependency Ratio
The ratio of self-sufficient, productive adults to dependents (children and the elderly) in a given population.
Young-old
Healthy, vigorous, financially secure older adults (generally, those age 60-75) who are well integrated into the lives of their families and communities.
Old-old
Older adults (generally, those over age 75) who suffer from physical, mental, or social deficits.
Oldest-old
Elderly adults (generally, those over age 85) who are dependent on others for almost everything, requiring supportive services such as nursing homes and hospital stays.
Primary aging
The universal and irreversible physical changes that occur to all living creatures as they grow older.
Secondary aging
The specific physical illnesses or conditions that become more common with aging but are caused by health habits, genes, and other influences that vary from person to person
Cardiovascular Disease
Disease that involves the heart and the circulation system.
Compression of Morbidity
A lessening of the time a person spends ill or infirm, accomplished by postponing illness.
Wear-and-tear Theory
A view of aging as a process by which the human body wears out because of the passage of time and exposure to environmental stresses.
Genetic Clock
The support mechanism in the DNA of cells that regulates the aging process by triggering hormonal changes and controlling cellular reproduction and repair.
Maximum Life Span
The oldest possible age that members of a species can live, under ideal circumstance. For humans, that age is approximately 122 years.
Average Life Expectancy
The number of years the average newborn in a particular population group is likely to live.
Oxygen Free Radicals
Atoms of oxygen that, as a result of metabolic processes, have an unpaired electron. these atoms scramble DNA molecules or mitochondria, producing errors in cell maintenance and repair that, over time, may cause cancer, diabetes, and arteriosclerosis.
Antioxidants
Chemical compounds that nullify the effects of oxygen free radicals by forming a bond with their unattached oxygen electron.
B cells
Immune cells manufactured in the bone marrow that create antibodies for isolating and destroying bacteria and viruses that are invading the body.
T cells
Immune cells manufactures in the thymus gland that produce substances that attack infected cells in the body.
Hayflick Limit
The number of times a human cell is capable of dividing into two new cells. The limit for most human cells is approximately 50 divisions, an indication that the life span is limited by our genetic progress.
Telomeres
The ends of chromosomes in the cells, whose length decreases with each cell duplication and seems to correlate with longevity.
Calorie Restriction
The practice of limiting dietary energy intake (while consuming sufficient quantities of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients) for the purpose of improving health and slowing down the aging process.
Describe the changing demographics of aging.
- Nearly 8% of the world's population if over age 65 (2% a century ago)
- 13% of the US population if over age 65
- Every country's population is aging
- The fastest growing age group is the centenarians
- The demographic pyramid is turning more into an equal graph where the number of older adults is closer to the number of children.
What is the current dependency ratio in most industrialized countries?
2:1 - 2 independent adults for every one dependent
What could happen to the dependency ratio if more people live longer and young people need more education to become self-sufficient?
The dependency ratio could flip to 1:2 - 1 independent adult for every 2 dependents. This is unlikely because:
1) modern technology means fewer workers are needed to provide food, shelter, and goods.
2) There is an inverse relationship between birth rates and longevity - the birth rate will continue to decline as the aged population increases
3) people over age 65 being labeled as 'dependent' is ageist - most are independent.
Name 3 theories of aging.
1) Wear and Tear - bodies wear out with age
2) Genetic Adaptation - genes for aging turn on
3) Cellular Aging - cell duplication errors from free radical damage, or telomere shortening and limits of duplication
Explain age-related changes in the functioning of the immune system.
The number of immune system cells decrease with age. Individuals with weaker immune systems die sooner than others. As the immune system declines cancers may grow. Measures to stop cancer involve killing all rapidly producing cells which temporarily shuts down the immune system. Women have stronger immune systems than men, and therefore live longer according to the cellular aging theory.
Identify common lifestyle characteristics of centenarians.
1) Diet is moderate, consisting mostly of fresh vegetables and herbs, with little consumption of meat and fat.
2) Work continues throughout life.
3) Family and community are important. They are well integrated into families of several generations and interact frequently with friends and neighbors.
4) Exercise and relaxation are part of the daily routine.