The Truth Behind Aging Essay

2290 words - 10 pages

The Truth behind Aging: The Facts from the Fiction
The elderly population is growing rapidly and now makes up greater than thirteen percent of the United States population. (APA, 1994). With such a record growth, there are different aspects to aging that are still being analyzed. Many may think of reaching late life as a rite of passage, but many face this time with a different view. Through the movie "UP', we are granted an opportunity into view the struggles of an elderly widowed man by the name of Mr. Fredrickson and the challenges in which he faces in his later life. The movie, takes one on a journey through his sorrows and his triumphs until he realizes what the true meaning of happiness is.
Through the journey, one must consider many aging factors and decide if these are true generalizations of aging or are myths of aging propagated by the movie. Specifically, the myths that will be examined in this paper are: 1) Are there life experiences that contribute to depression in the elderly population? 2) How do vision and hearing impairments affect an older adult's overall mental status? And finally, 3) is there any relation between having a physical mobility deficits and depression? Through this examination of my propagated in "UP", the reader will gain better insight into what are true generalizations vs. myths about the elderly.
Depression:
According to Comer, of the estimated 35 million people in the U.S. that are over the age of 65, 6.5 million, are in need of some sort of mental health services. However, less than twenty percent receive treatment (Benek-Higgins, 2008). According to the American Psychiatric institute, there may be instances where a person may lack a depressed mood or sadness, since many including those in the elderly population may deny such feelings (APA, 1994).Anxieties, irritability, not able to cope and sleep disturbances are other symptoms that may be present (Van Exel E,2000). Others may acknowledge lack of appetite and loss of interest or pleasure with their daily routine (APA, 1994).
Depression in the elderly is associated with impairment, dependency, disability, and significant distress for the individual and their family. Bereavement, is almost universal in late life and is sometimes a deterrent to appropriate diagnosis and treatment of depression. Suicide rates of the elderly are almost double the rate than any other population (Shear, 2006). And for those seventy-four years of age and older depressive symptoms are usually present (Shear, 2006).
One of the biggest hurdles a person has to face in their lifetime is the loss of a loved one. As people get older, their friends, and family members, begin to pass away. The following are the patterns of grieving:
• Primary grief -This is experienced immediately after a death and is thought of as a sense of disbelief or having a difficult time with acceptance of the death. This can go on for days or even...

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