Social Support and Physical Activity Corroborating

Topics: Gerontology, Sociology, Old age Pages: 13 (4547 words) Published: March 24, 2013

Social Support and Physical Activity Corroborating
Healthy Aging and Quality of Life in the Elderly

Karen Cauthen
Counseling 502-B21
Liberty University

Can morbidity be deterred in the elderly or is disease and illness a fact of life for the aged? Does social support and physical activity play a part in preventing secondary aging processes? This paper will modestly explore and discuss the effects of social interactions and routine activity of the elderly upon healthy aging and quality of life. “Successful healthy ageing is impacted by a healthy lifestyle and is positively related to a reduced mortality risk and a delay in health deterioration” (Merrill, Myklebust, Myklebust, Reynolds, & Duthie, 2008). It is not the absence of disease or disability that qualifies healthy aging, but response to the aging process that defines quality of life (Gilbert, Hagerty, & Taggert, 2012). According to Erik Erikson it is the eighth stage of development: integrity vs. despair (Erikson, Erikson, & Kivnick, 1986); the point in life where the reality of death becomes imminent and a review of life determines meaning (Elhman & Ligon, 2012). Social participation and an active lifestyle are good at any age but for the elderly it is the cover over the deep dark hole of despair and loneliness.

Keywords: integrity, despair, activity, social, healthy aging, aging process, support

Social Support and Physical Activity Corroborating
Healthy Aging and Quality of Life in the Elderly
As we grow older our bodies change, our thoughts are more reflective, and our friendships more selective. Growing old is not a cookie cutter process. For each individual it is different. Some stay very busy, while others quit. They gradually halt participation in day-to-day events, or they take up yoga, run a marathon even go back to school. Successful aging is determined more by mental attitude than physical ability; how past life is perceived and future life accomplished. It is how change is managed that determines healthy aging and quality of life in the aged. Growing old is a process gerontologist divide in two categories, “primary aging” and “secondary aging” (Berger, 2011). Primary aging is defined as the universal changes occurring with age that are not caused by diseases or environmental influences. Secondary aging is defined as changes involving interactions of primary aging processes with environmental influences and disease processes (Masoro & Austad, 2006). According to Berger (Berger, 2011) there are three stages of old: “young-old,” “healthy, active, financially secure and independent;” “old-old,” although still independent suffer from “reductions in physical or mental ability or social support;” and last, “oldest-old,” “infirm, at risk for illness and injury.” Not preferring to use the word old, some gerontologist describe four stages of aging as: “optimal aging,” “usual aging,” “impaired or pathological aging,” and the fourth, “successful aging,” (Rowe & Kahn, 1998) “signifying extensive social interaction and activity” (Berger, 2011).

The elderly tend to measure functional capacity by “their ability to carry out, independently, their routine activities, also called the activities of daily living” (Brito & Pavarini, 2012). After years of independent living, dependency on someone to carry out normal everyday functions can be emotionally and socially debilitating, even more so than the illnesses that made them dependent. “Loss, in instrumental activities of daily living contributes to greater estrangement from one’s social surroundings and consequently to a tendency to be isolated in one’s residence” (Brito & Pavarini, 2012).

Erik Erikson provided an in-depth philosophy in his final eighth stage of development: integrity vs. despair. This is a time in which the elderly desire to unite their vast experiences...

Bibliography: Adams, K. B., & Sanders, S. (2010). Measurement of developmental change in late life: a validation study of the change in activities and interests index. Clinical Gerontologist, 92-108.
Arber, S., Perren, K., & Davidson, K. (2002). Involvement in social organizations in later life: Variations by gender and class. In L. Andersson (Ed.), Cultural gerontology (pp. 77-93). Westport, CT: Auborn House.
Bailey, P. E., Henry, J. D., & Von Hippel, W. (2008, July). Empathy and social functioning in late adulthood. Aging & Mental Health, Vol. 12, No. 4, 499-503.
Barer, B. M. (1994). Men and women aging differently. International Journal of Aging and Hua Development, 38(1), 29-40.
Bath, P. A., & Deeg, D. (2005). Social engagement and health outcomes among older people: Introduction to a special section. European Journal of Aging, 2, 24-30.
Belza, B., Walwick, J., Shiu-Thornton, S., Schwartz, S., Taylor, M., & LoGerfo, J. (2004). Older adult perspectives on physical activity and exercise: Voices from multiple cultures. Preventing Chronic Disease, 1, A09.
Bennett, K. M. (1998). Gender and longitudinal changes in physical activities in later life. Age and Ageing, 27(suppl. 3), 24-28.
Berger, K. (2011). The Developing Person Through the Life Span. New York: Worth Publishers.
Brito, T., & Pavarini, S. (2012). The relationship between social support and functional capacity in elderly persons with cognitive alterations. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 677-684.
Buchman, A. S., Boyle, P. A., Wilson, R. S., Fleischman, D. A., Leurgans, S., & Bennett, D. A. (2009). Association between late life social activity and motor decline in older adults. Archives of International Medicine, 169(12), 1139-1146.
Carstensen, L. L. (1991). Selctivity theory: Social activity in life-span context. Annual Tview of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 11, 195-213.
Carstensen, L. L. (1992). Social and Emotional Patterns in Adulthood: Support for Socioemotional Selectivity Theory. Psychology and Aging, 7(3), 331-338.
CDC. (2012, April 12). CDC 's Prevention Research Centers Healthyy Aging Research Network (CDC-HAN). Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Chen, Y
Conn, V. S. (1998). Older women 's beliefs avout physical activity. Public Health Nursing (Boston, Mass.), 15, 370-378.
Cumming, E., & Henry, W. E. (1961). Growing old: the process of disengagement. New York: Basic Books.
Decety, J., & Jackson, P. L. (2004). The functional architecture of human empathy. Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 3, 71-100.
Elhman, K., & Ligon, M. (2012). The Application of a Generativity Model for Older Adults. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 331-344.
Erikson, E. H., & Erikson, J. M. (1997). The life cyclecompleted (Extended version ed.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Erikson, E. H., Erikson, J. M., & Kivnick, H. Q. (1986). Vital involvement in old age. New York: Norton.
Fry, P. S., & Debats, D. L. (2006). Sources of life strengths as predictors of late-life mortality and survivorship. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 62, 303-334.
Gilbert, C., Hagerty, D., & Taggert, H. (2012). Exploring Factors Related to Healthy Ageing. Self-Care, Dependent-Care & Nursing, 20-25.
Golden, J., Conroy, R. M., & Lawlor, B. A. (2009). Social support network structure in older people: Underlying dimensions and association with psychological and phsical health. Psychological Health & Medicine, 14(3), 280-290.
Havighurst, R., & Albrecht, R. (1953). Older people. New York: Longmans, Green.
Hong, S. I., Hasche, L., & Bowland, S. (2009). Structural relationships between social activities and logitudinal trajectories of depression among older adults. The Gerontologist, 49(1), 1-11.
House, J. S., Landis, K. R., & Umberson, D. (1988). Social relationships and health. Science, 241, 540-545.
James, J., & Zarrett, N. (2006). Ego integrity in the lives of older women. Journal of Adult Development, 13(2), 61-75.
Lees, F. D., Clark, P. G., Nigg, C. R., & Newman, P. (2005). Barriers to exercise behavior among older adults: A focus-group study. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 13, 23-33.
Lennartsson, C., & Silverstein, M. (2001). Does engagement with life enhance survival of elderly people in Sweden? The role of social and leisure activities. Journal of Gerontology, 56B(6), S335-342.
Li, Y., Lin, S., & Chen, C. (2011). Gender Differences in the Relationship of Social Activity and Quality of Life in Community-Dwelling Taiwanese Elders. Journal of Women & Aging, 305-320.
Masoro, E. J., & Austad, S. N. (2006). Handbook of the Biology of Aging (6th ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press.
Menec, V. H. (2003). The relation between everyday activities and successful aging: A 6-year longitudinal study. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 58B(2), S74-82.
Merrill, S. J., Myklebust, B., Myklebust, J., Reynolds, N., & Duthie, E. (2008). A poisson-like model of sub-clinical signs from the examination of healthy aging subjects. Aging Clinical & Experimental Research, 20(4), 368-375.
Newson, R. S., & Kemps, E. B. (2007). Factors that promote and prevent exercise engagement in older adults. Journal of Aging and Health, 19, 470-481.
Ofstedal, M. B., Reidy, E., & Knodel, J. (2004). Gender differences in economic support and well-being of older Asians. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 19, 165-201.
Ramos, M. P. (2002). Apoio social e saude entre os idosos. Sociologias, 4(7), 156-175.
Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1998). Successful aging. New York: Pantheon.
Stuck, A. E., Walthert, J. M., Nikolaus, T., Bula, C. J., Hohmann, C., & Beck, J. C. (1999). Risk factors for functional status decline in community-living elderly people: A systematic review. Social Science and Medicine, 48(1), 445-469.
Yuen, H. K., Huang, P., Burik, J. K., & Smith, T. G. (2008). Impact of participating in volunteer activities for residents living in long-term-care facilities. The Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62(1), 71-77.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Exploring adolescent physical activity Essay
  • Physical Activity Essay
  • Physical Activity Essay
  • Physical Activity Essay
  • Essay about Physical Activity and Childhood Obesity
  • Causes and Effests of Physical Activity Essay
  • Physical Activity Importance Essay
  • Essay on The Social-Emotional, Cognitive and Physical Benefits of Physical Activity

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free