Unit 4 Task 3 Essay

2853 words - 12 pages

Unit 4 Task 3
Disengagement Theory
Cumming and Henry (1961)
* Withdrawal from social contact with others.
* Natural part of ageing
* Reduced physical health and loss of social opportunities means they don’t engage in activities
Discredited by Zimbardo (1992)
* Many people stay active
* Socialise with remaining friends, not make new ones
* Still involved with family

Activity Theory
Robert J Havighurst (1961)
* Older people stay mentally and socially active to avoid disengagement
* Physical activity (eg. Walking, gardening, yoga)
* Mental activity (eg. Crosswords, studying courses, puzzles)
Bromley (1966)

The process of ageing is a process that ...view middle of the document...

Such benefits include:
* Retirement/Death of an individual frees up more roles and jobs for younger people
* Enables society to carry on after deaths with little disruption
* Passing on of skills and intellect to younger generations
* Less need for social groups or activities for elderly

This theory was very controversial and many theorists didn’t agree with it. In 1992, Phillip G. Zimbardo argued against the disengagement theory by saying that the older generation don’t necessarily need to withdraw from their social life and relationships. He said that as people grow older, they choose who with and how they want to interact. Zimbardo suggest that instead of withdrawal from family and friends, they instead cherish the remaining loved ones that they have left.

Another of the main theories is the Activity theory by Robert J Havighurst. He developed this theory in 1961 in response to the disengagement theory. He believes that older people should stay active to maintain their relationships and overall happiness. His theory states that when the elderly take up new roles after retirement, it helps them feel meaningful and uses up time that they’ve newly found. Havighurst’s view is that older people should resist the pressure to conform to the usual withdrawal from social activities that is expected of elderly people. That they should instead take up more hobbies and find new social relationships to keep active and happy.
Examples of hobbies that some elderly people take up are:
* Word/Number puzzles (crosswords, Sudoku etc.)
* Gardening
* Social Events (Tea dances, Bingo, Coffee Mornings etc.)
* Swimming
* Knitting or Crocheting
In 1966, Bromley said that older people do need to disengage slightly from society but that they should also remain active to avoid losing their mental or physical skills. He thought that they should ensure they can still communicate with people and don’t withdraw completely from society. (‘Activity Theory’) He also wrote that elderly people should be taught how to correctly use the facilities available to them.
As people grow older, they react differently to the changes that go along with ageing and their lifestyles may fit into one of the ageing theories, for example, the Activity theory or the Disengagement theory. They may also decide to take advantage of new facilities available to them and some others may decide they don’t want to join in with the activities.
For example, they can go to a day centre. Day centres are a good way to get out of the house but it is a step before residential care. At these centres, all of the people are of a similar age which will be easier for them to get along. The activities they do may include:
-Painting sessions
-Gardening
-Access to the Internet
-Cookery
-Knitting (Hounslow)
Certain day centres may also have access to health care services such as a doctor, district nurse, optician or a social worker (Hounslow). This gives them a...

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