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Psycho social aspect of elders

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The number of the individuals over age 65 is rapidly expanding. In 1900 4% of the U.S population was older than 65 years, By 2003 it was 12.4% and by 2030, it is projected to be 20%.This characterized by a gradually decline in the functioning of all the body’s systems cardiovascular, Respiratory, Genitourinary, endocrine and immune among the elderly peoples. Aging of the population is the main problem faced by the today’s world. Neuronal degeneration in CNS (Central Nervous System), increased susceptibility to infections, Decrease in height due to the shortening of the spinal column and reducing the muscle mass and muscle strength. Decrease in glomerular filtrate rate and renal blood flow, decrease the hardness of the erection, decrease the vaginal lubrication, enlargement of prostate and incontinence are main kind of genitourinary and reproductive disorders common among the aging population. Having various kind of disease conditions also leads to detrition of psycho social wellbeing. Cardiovascular diseases are one of them. Decreased the elasticity of heart valves, increased the susceptibility of arrhythmias and altered homeostasis of blood pressure weaken cardiovascular system with the time being. With the aging thickening of optic lens, reduced the peripheral vision, presbyopia and hearing loss and losing the acuity of taste, smell, and touch.

Psycho social maturity of the elderly such as wisdom, creativity, and spirituality and emotional out growth have shaped the world where we live now. Elders can be also known as the transmitters of tacit knowledge, of experiences of the history and of life crisis management and are also the roots of our society.

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Healthy older persons usually maintain a level of social activity that is slightly changed from that of earlier years. In some cases, however, physical illness or the death friends and relatives may preclude continued social interaction.

Retirement, altered relationships with adult children, changes in housing, loss of valued possessions, loss of friends resulting from relocation or death, loss of spouse, loss of health and loss of independence are some of the psychosocial problems where most of the aging population witness today.

According to “Maslow’s human need theory” the five categories of human needs, ordered from the lowest to highest are physiologic needs, safety and security needs, love and belongings, self esteem and self-actualization. The older people are self-actualized people possessing the traits of autonomy, creativity independence and positive interpersonal relationship (Maslow human need theory). It is believed that older people remain psychologically and socially fit if they remain socially active. One’s self concept is affirmed through activities associated with various roles that he loss of role in the old age negatively affects life satisfaction.

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