Literature Review on the Old People Date Literature Review Introduction Most countries are increasingly becoming concerned with promoting the wellbeing of the old, particularly on health matters. This paper focuses on literature review of physiological, psychological and sociological characteristics of the old people particularly those aged above 60 years…
According to Gupta (2012), the systolic BP as well as the heart rate of old people is higher as compared to their counterparts who are in pre-retirement age. He attributes the above physiological characteristics to increased stress, anxiety, and depression amongst the old people. He argues that participation in cognitive activities could help old people counterweigh the physiological factors. Rockwood, Mitnitski and Rockwood (2010), did a research to test if deficit accumulation leads to loss of redundancy. They tested the relationship between age and FI-CGA. They found out that deficit accumulation decreases with increasing frailty, a state of helplessness arising due to old age. Nelson et al (2007) posit that the older people require to be engaged in exercise to improve their health as they age. Their report argues that America incurs a lot of cost treating the old people of diseases resulting from inactivity. They thus recommend inclusion of exercise programs for the old to help offset ailments such as cardiovascular complications, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cancers such as of colon and breast. Additionally they argue that exercise helps reduce stress and depression, which trigger other diseases. Psychological Characteristics Loneliness, which is a common aspect characterizing the life of most old people is a major cause of many psychological as well as physiological problems. In most cases, loneliness contributes to depression, which is associated with declined cognitive capability particularly among the old people. Luanaigh & Lawlor (2008) suggest the need for research on possible interventions that could be used to decrease loneliness amongst the old. Dozeman et al (2009) suggest that old people, particularly those above 75 years are more vulnerable to depression. Their study on the prevalence of depressive symptoms across different ages showed that clinically related depressive symptoms are considerably high amongst the old people. They claim that such depressive symptoms are disadvantageous because they lead to reduced quality of life and make the old persons vulnerable to other conditions such as dysthymia. Sociological Characteristics According to Eliutina (2012), the problems faced by the old couples have received minimal attention by researchers. Their study showed that the number of old couples has decreased rapidly over the recent past due to increased death rate of men. After the death of their spouses, few widows choose to remarry due to fear of divorce. Additionally, the study revealed that old couples are often despised by the society and are given minimal attention. The old thus end up suffering of depression. The old couples are also likely to face individual differences among themselves, which call for the need for sociopsychological support programs to help the old people. Since most old people suffer from physiological as well as psychological problems, there is need for establishment of social programs such as physical fitness programs to aid the old persons in the society (Meadows, Marechal & Catalan, 1998). Current Health and Activity Status When people get older, they become frail and dependent. Gurina, Frolova & Degryse (2011) categorize the health problems facing the old people. T ...
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