Ageism in Contemporary Society Essay Assignment Paper

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Ageism in Contemporary Society Essay Assignment Paper

1. In our book it states that
ageism is the tendency to categorize and judge people solely on the basis of
their chronological age. Ageism is like racism and sexism. The book also states
that elderspeak is a condescending way to speak to older adults that resembles
baby talk. The younger generation has a tendency to use elderspeak when they
talk to an elderly person. The society uses agesim on a daily basis. For
example if you seen an elderly person driving based on their age some people
are already making remarks because they are driving slower than the speed
limit. In the nursing home I hear elderspeak used everyday mostly with the
young aides who are just coming out of high school. What can we do to limit the
use of elderspeak? What can we do about ageism?

2. There are so many things that
the elderly are doing in contemporary society in order to remain active and
have a fulfilling life. One of these things is working. The textbook discusses
on pages 537-538 the fact that, while some people are working over 65 because
of financial reasons, others are working for the personal fulfillment they get
from their job. The work may be paid, or volunteer. Unfortunately, ageism
discourages volunteering in late adulthood, as well as fosters the idea that
retirees will fall prey to the negative aspects of retirement. I see many
positives to older people working, most of which are listed in the textbook,
but also see some potential negatives.
What do you think about over-65s
in the workforce (originally and after reading the text)? How much did ageism
affect your original view? What are some ways that we can improve working and
volunteer conditions for older Americans?

3. According to the textbook,
Many people are willing to spend a fortune to live longer. At least a
dozen companies and hundreds of researchers are searching for the pill, the
machine, or the genetic fix that will extend life. Some researchers believe
governments should devote extensive resources to hasten the defeat of
aging (De Grey & Rae, 2007, p. 7). (p.510) Many people are
attempting to live longer through genetic engineering, drug trials, calorie
restriction, and unnecessary surgeries or procedures such as botox. Many of
these attempts at prolonging life come years after a person should have tried
to improve their life through safer means such as a healthier diet, and plenty
of exercise.
Do you support people who put all
their efforts into extending their life? Would you do the same as you near the
end of life?

4. According to our book as we
age, or brain not only becomes slower at responding but is quantifiable
in another way: It gets smaller (pg. 513). This is crazy! I can’t even
think about how much our bodies change from birth until death. It seems we
build our bodies up for 20 years, maintain our health and body physique, then
as we reach our upper 60’s we start to decompose. But, as we age, we begin to
use different parts of our brains more, and some less. This is just a way of
how we adapt to our body changing. Some parts become stronger, and other parts
become weaker.
My question is do you think having
an education helps our brains function better late in our life?

5. On page 552 of the text the
author discusses friendships for people over 65 years old, only 4% have never
been married, with the likelihood of experiencing more deaths (spouse, older
family members, friends, etc.) I thought it would be more difficult for this
age group to keep close friendships. The book states that research has found
older adults need at least one close friend. As adults it seems harder to make
friends then it did as a child, how do older adults accomplish this and what
are the health benefits of maintaining close friendships as you age? Is there
any negative benefits?

6. On p. 520 the author refers to
a study that found that regular physical exercise reduces the incidence
of all forms of dementia by half (Marx 2005) and another study that
people who are obese in middle age are twice as likely to have dementia by
their 70’s, compared with people of normal weight (Whitmer et al., 2005).
Throughout these 2 chapters the author emphasizes that the majority of older
people are mentally alert, healthy and content. Considering the increase of
obesity at younger and younger ages in the U.S. and the lack of physical
exercise, what do you think will be the long-term ramifications as these people

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