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Psychology Research Paper

Autor:   •  August 1, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,697 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,574 Views

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Every living thing on this planet goes through a transition period that includes the beginning of life, middle of life and end of life. This research paper will discuss the impact the transition from late adulthood to the end of life has on individuals and their loved ones. Many different terms relating to this period will also be defined and discussed in depth.

There are two different types of aging on the human body. The first of these types is primary aging. Primary aging is the natural process of the body breaking down and aging, regardless of what is done to try to slow this process. No matter how good of care a person takes of themselves, or what steps they may take to slow the aging process, primary aging will take place and slowly destroy the human body.

The second type of aging is secondary aging. Secondary aging is a result of many different factors, many which are a result of one’s own lifestyle choices. Many different diseases are also included in secondary aging. Secondary aging are those choices a person makes, or disease, that impact the human body negatively, thus speeding up the aging process. Through healthy lifestyle choices, much of this type of aging can be avoided. Primary, and secondary aging are important factors in determining longevity and quality of life.

When a person is fortunate enough to live into late adulthood, there are factors that often have a negative impact on their lives. Earlier in this paper, diseases that negatively impact the body during aging were discussed. Just as there are diseases that impact the body during the aging process, there are also diseases that appear as a result of reaching late adulthood. These diseases develop as an aging person becomes weaker, and their immune system slows down. An article in Experimental Gerontology states, “The function of the immune system is known to decline in the elderly. Clinically, the consequences of impaired immune function in the elderly include increased susceptibility to infectious disease, the emergence of tumors, and increased autoimmune reactions” (401). Some of the diseases those in late adulthood are vulnerable to include, diabetes, cancer, respiratory problems, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. There are many other illnesses and diseases that afflict the elderly, but these are some of the most common. These diseases attack and destroy the body and/or the bodies’ ability to function properly.

Those individuals in late adulthood not only have to face the many diseases that attack them, but also discrimination from society as a result of being older and being vulnerable to these diseases. Discrimination or prejudice against an individual based on their age is known as ageism. Many in society view older people as less productive, helpless or even worthless. One study in the Journal of Social Issues states, “Across multiple methods, studies, and populations, the group elderly


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