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9: Aging and the Elderly
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- 9.1: Prelude to Aging and the Elderly
- If knowing about a society’s culture and structure helps us to understand its elderly, it is also true that knowing about a society’s elderly helps us understand the society itself, as this chapter will illustrate.
- 9.2: Gerontology and the Concept of Aging
- The study of elderly and the aging helps us understand the society in which we live, and it also alerts us to certain processes and problems that we may experience as we grow into old age. Biological aging refers to the physical changes that accompany the aging process, while psychological aging refers to the psychological changes that occur. Social aging refers to the changes in a person’s roles and relationships as the person ages.
- 9.3: The Perception and Experience of Aging
- The perception of aging can vary from one society to another, and it can also change over time within any given society. Gerontologists have investigated these cross-cultural and historical differences. By understanding aging in other societies and also in our past, they say, we can better understand aging in our own society. To acquaint you with “other ways of growing old,” we discuss briefly some of the cross-cultural and historical evidence on the perception and experience of aging.
- 9.4: Sociological Perspectives on Aging
- 9.5: Life Expectancy, Aging, and the Graying of Society
- 9.6: Biological and Psychological Aspects of Aging
- 9.7: The U.S. Elderly
- We now turn our attention to older people in the United States. We first sketch a demographic profile of our elderly and then examine some of the problems they face because of their age.
- 9.S: Aging and the Elderly (Summary)