Aging, Quality of Life, and Social Support

Aging, Quality of Life, and Social Support

Garima Gupta, Deepa Luxmi Sharma
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3480-8.ch004
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The present chapter presents an intertwined view on aging, quality of life and social support. Aging is a sensitive process of transformation from a young age structure to old age. It is a pressing problem for many countries in this century. Therefore, attention to needs and problems of this age has an importance. The domains that need more attention in elderly is both quality of life and social support in their life. Though social support and quality of life have received much attention in studies of the psychological issues of older adults but still researches are needed in special attention at the intervention level.
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Definitions Of Aging

There are several aspects that define aging from its own perspective. Aging actually is not a unidimensional concept and people can age in different ways giving rise to different sets of definitions of aging. The two most commonly used definitions are chronological age and functional age. Chronological age is based on time and refers to numbers of years, month or days passed by an individual since birth when used to demarcate limits for functions like voting, issuing driving hence, or for retirement. The underlying assumptions are that the chronological age is a barometer of the ability to perform certain functions. Functional age is a measure of how well a person can function in the physical and social environment as compared to other people of same age. It has three components: biological, psychological, and social. It is apparent that even though chronological age not is an indicator of an individual’s level of functioning, yet it is linked with aspect of functional age in some way. Demographers and sociologists sometimes categorized the population in three groups (Carey, 2003) as follows: Aged 55-65 as young old (b) Aged 66-85 as old (c) Aged 85 years and above as oldest old. These categorizations have to be re-evaluated in different cultural contexts depending on the life expectancy for that specific cultural group.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Quality of Life: Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals that includes negative and positive features of life. It is measured in terms of life satisfaction in various domains such as physical health, family, education, employment, wealth, religious beliefs, finance and the environment.

Aging-Aging: Is defined as a biological process where gradual deterioration of physiological function with age took place. It is a progressive process of becoming older which is genetically determined and environmentally modulated.

Social Support: Social support can be defined in terms of assistance available to the individual from other people or extent to which a person is nested in a social network. This support can be tangible, intangible, emotional, and informational etc.

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