• Explain what average life expectancy is and what impacts this o Know what average healthy life expectancy is and how it might look different Ø Life expectancy is the number of years a person is expected to live, it has been increasing in the U.S due to improved nutrition, sanitation, etc. Ø Like expectancy is impacted by: v Gender: women outlive men v SES: increases with education and income v Lifestyle factors: behaviors, job, social supports v Governing policies and programs: health care, housing, social services o Be aware of the concept of the maximum lifespan Ø Species-specific biological limit v Little increase in life expectancy for those 65 and older v Centenarians still rare • Recognize hereditary and environmental/lifestyle factors that contribute to sustaining a long life • Distinguish between activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) o Know what these are and also the difficulties they can pose for older adults Ø Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) v Basic self-care tasks v Bathing, dressing, eating Ø Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) v Conducting business of daily life v Require some cognitive competence v Shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, paying bills Ø After age 75 about 9% have the activities of daily living. • Be aware of the effects of aging on the nervous system (brain weight decline, neuron loss, changes to the autonomic nervous system that make it less efficient, how the brain compensates for losses) § Neuron loss, especially in: Ø Prefrontal cortex (executive function) Ø Corpus callosum (links cortical hemispheres) Ø Cerebellum (balance) Ø Hippocampus (memory and spatial awareness) § Central nervous system and autonomic nervous system less efficient § How the brain compensates: Ø Generates neural fibers and, to limited degree, new neurons Ø Calls on other brain regions to support cognitive processing
§ Decrease immunity and sleep problems, also what is lost looks different for everyone. • Know how our sensory systems are impacted (vision, hearing, taste, smell, touch) § Vision: Ø Increased sensitivity to glare Ø Impaired color discrimination due to yellowing of eye lenses Ø Poor dark adaption Ø Decreased depth perception Ø Lower visual acuity Ø Cataracts Ø Macular degeneration: leading cause of blindness in older adults where central vision becomes blurry until lost. § Hearing: Ø Declines in detecting sounds, high frequencies most affected Ø Speech perception: greatly affects life satisfaction Ø For most, not disruptive to daily life until age 85+ Ø Compensation relies on intermodal perception, quiet environments, hearing aids and devices § Taste and Smell: Ø Declines in taste buds on tongue Ø Difficulty recognizing familiar foods Ø Declines in odor sensitivity v Decrease in smell receptors v Loss of neurons in brain regions that process odors v Perception distorted: “food no longer smells and tastes right” Ø Smell’s self-protective function diminishes •
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- Spring '08
- early adulthood