An inevitable part of old age from those that are preventable or treatable.
Describe the ways in which psychologists have made great strides in separating conditions once thought to be an inevitable part of old age from those that are preventable or treatable.
How Psychologists Have Separated Conditions Once thought to be Part of Old Age
There are several conditions that have been associated with old age for a long time due to their nature and prevalence among the elderly. Old age means that this group of people have been exposed to various psychological and physical changes that may reduce their sense of self (Tavris, 2017). As a result, loneliness, depression and senility are common among the elderly. Previously, these conditions were perceived to be largely a consequence of old age, but psychologists have made great strides in separating conditions once thought to be an inevitable part of old age from those that are preventable and treatable.
Geriatric psychologists have established that the elderly often experience loneliness and depression due to repeated loss of loved ones as well as having to live alone. Furthermore, the elderly are often disconnected from their family and culture as old age renders them incapable of participating in some community and social activities (Tavris, 2017). They may also have challenges forging new friendships and relationships. All these factors make them more prone to depression, frailty and senility. However depression, frailty and senility in old age are caused by other factors which are avoidable as evidenced by memory, learning capabilities, and coordination assessments among the elderly,. Prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter drugs have been found to cause apparent senility with prolonged usage which explains why senility is common among the elderly- it is not a product of old age (Tavris, 2017). Depression may be due to loss of intellectual stimulation and meaningful activity with age; this too can be prevented. Finally, physical inactivity may lead to weakness and frailty in old age and, therefore, exercising when younger can help an individual to prevent the onset of frailty.
Conclusively, conditions such as depression, senility and frailty are seen as inevitable with old age, but psychologists have determined that these conditions are predominantly caused by the social, psychological and physical changes experienced by the elderly. This means that the underlying causes of these conditions are lifestyle factors which can be avoided. Physical exercises as well as activities that enhance mental and psychological stimulation can be used to help prevent these conditions in old age. Also, medications can be controlled so that they do not have long-lasting effects that would catch up with an individual in old age.
Tavris, C. (2017). Psychology (12th ed.). Boston: Pearson,