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22 Cards in this Set

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A term that refers to prejudice against people because of their age. Like racism and sexism, ageism works to prevent elderly people from being as happy as and productive as they could be.
ageism
The study of old age. This is one of the fastest-growing special fields in the social sciences.
gerontology
The medical specialty devoted to aging.
geriatrics
The ratio of self-sufficient, productive adults to dependents - children and the elderly.
dependency ratio
Healthy, vigorous, financially secure older adults (generally, those under age 75) who are well integrated into the lives of their families and their communities.
young-old
Older adults (generally over age 75) who suffer from physical, mental, or social deficits.
old-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.
oldest-old
The universal and irreversible physical changes that occur to living creatures as they grow older.
primary aging
The specific physical illnesses or conditions that are more common in aging but are caused by health habits, genes, and other influences that vary from person to person.
secondary aging
A common eye disease among the elderly involving a thickening of the lens; it can cause distorted vision if left untreated.
cataracts
A disease of the eye involving deterioration of the retina.
senile macular degeneration
A way of speaking to older adults that resembles baby talk, with simple and short sentences, exaggerated emphasis, a slower rate, higher pitch, and repetition.
elderspeak
A limiting of the time a person spends ill or infirm, accomplished by postponing illness and, once morbidity occurs, reducing the amount of time that remains before death occurs.
compression of morbidity
A theory of aging that states that the human body wears out because of the passage of time and exposure to environmental stressors.
wear-and-tear theory
The oldest age to which members of a species can live, under ideal circumstances. For humans, that age is approximately 120 years.
maximum life span
The number of years the average newborn of a particular population group is likely to live. In humans, this age has tended to increase over time, primarily because fewer children die in infancy.
average life expectancy
Atoms that, as a result of metablic processes, have an unpaired electron. They produce errors in cell maintenance and repair that, over time, may cause cancer, diabetes, and arteriosclerosis.
oxygen free radicals
Compounds that nullify the effects of oxygen free radicals by forming a bond with their unattached oxygen electron.
antioxidants
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, suggesting that the life span is limited by our genetic program.
Hayflick limit
According to one theory of aging, a regulatory mechanism in the DNA of cells regulates the aging process.
genetic clock
Cells manufactured in the bone marrow that create antibodies for isolating and destroying invading bacteria and viruses.
B cells
Cells created in the thymus that produce substances that attack infected cells in the body.
T cells