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research paper HDV - Psychological Changes 1 The Aging...

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Psychological Changes 1 The Aging Process: Psychological Changes In The Elderly Jessica Spano Human Development 120 Dr. Laura Brown April 9 th , 2008
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Psychological Changes 2 Psychological Changes In The Elderly Gerontology is the study of the human aging process from maturity to old age and deals with the biological, psychological, and sociological processes that occur in one's adult life. As we grow older, everything changes, especially the way we think. Our mentality changes as we grow with age due to social influences, personal experience, and biological issues. How often do we take time out of our day to think about how much our past effects our present life and the future? How often do stereotypes affect our perception on nearly everything and anything? We become afraid to grow old based on stereotypes and social influences. Our cognitive processes change drastically throughout our lifespan, but how can we keep our brains up to speed and stimulated? One may not even consider that the simplest things may make the difference; such as keeping ones social network, staying in touch with family and friend, and having people to support you. All of these factors help us throughout life, whether we know it or not. I believe many factors affect the way we feel, and how we will act to aging, but one needs knowledge in order to be comfortable with the aging process. What Are The Stereotype's and The Real Deal Facts? According to Whitehead (1978), society views the elderly as not seen as normal people but rather as mentally or physically weak elders. This stereotype still exists today. Stereotypes today influence people greatly and allow them to inflict with true facts. Aging does not inevitably produce mental decay, but does cease its working ability from when a person was in their young adult or mid life years. Aging has an affect on the mind as we become older. It becomes more difficult to learn new information, and solve problems because our minds become incapable of flexibility, which is needed to store all new knowledge. This does not necessarily apply to every individual. If one maintains flexibility and stimulation of the mind, they may still be able to retain new knowledge to a certain degree—even up to and past their eighty's. Intellectual decline in quality is also another stereotype associated in today’s society when in fact it decreases at the age of sixteen and onward. Our ability to
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Psychological Changes 3 use our minds creatively is replaced with knowledge and life experiences (p. 197). This ability varies from person to person. If one keeps the mind active with intellectual activities, it will still be stimulated intellectually as one grows older. The statement that un-stimulated parts of the mind go to waste is a general statement and is applied to all factors. Unused brain muscles and cells go to waste because they are not exercised. With unused brain muscle and cells it becomes harder for the brain to retrieve certain information and memory. Because the brain has not exercised certain areas for long periods of time,
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research paper HDV - Psychological Changes 1 The Aging...

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