17 - physical and cognitive development in late adulthood

17 - physical and cognitive development in late adulthood -...

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Physical Development 17:07 Functional age: Actual competence and performance Life Expectancy Average life expectancy: The number of years that an individual born in a  particular year can expect to live, starting at any given age Variations in Life Expectancy o Consistent group differences in life expectancy underscore the joint  contribution of heredity and environment to biological aging Women can look forward to 4 to 7 more years of life than men o Life expectancy varies with SES, ethnicity, and nationality As education and income increase, so does length of life  o Length of life can be predicted by a country’s health care, housing, and  social services, along with lifestyle factors Active lifespan: The number of years of vigorous, healthy life an  individual born in a particular year can expect Life Expectancy in Late Adulthood o The number of people age 65 and older has risen dramatically in the  industrialized world o Differences in average life expectancy between the sex declines Life expectancy crossover: Surviving members of low-SES ethnic  minority groups live longer than members of the white majority  o Activities of daily living (ADIs): Basic self-care tasks required to live on  one’s own Instrumental activities of daily living (IADIs): Tasks necessary to  conduct the business of daily life and also requiring some cognitive  competence o Longevity runs in families Maximum Lifespan o Genetic limit to length of life for a person free of external risk factors Physical Changes
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Nervous System o Aging of the central nervous system affects a wide range of complex  thoughts and activities o Neuron loss occurs throughout the cerebral cortex but at different rates  among different regions o The brain can overcome some of these declines o The autonomic nervous system performs less well in old age Sensory Systems o Vision Vision diminishes further The cornea becomes more translucent and scatters light The lens continues to yellow Cataracts: Cloudy areas in the lens Reduction in light reaching the retina and cell loss in the retina and  optic nerve Dark adaptation is harder Decline in binocular vision makes depth perception less reliable Visual acuity worsens Macular degeneration: Light-sensitive cells in the macula break down Leading cause of blindness among older adults o Hearing Reduced blood supply and natural cell death in the inner ear and  auditory cortex along with stiffening of membranes, cause hearing to  decline in late adulthood Affects safety and enjoyment of life The elderly report lower self-efficacy, more loneliness and depressive  symptoms, and a smaller social network
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2010 for the course EDHD 320 taught by Professor Parkinson during the Fall '08 term at Maryland.

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17 - physical and cognitive development in late adulthood -...

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