Geriatric Nursing: Theories of Aging

NUR 145 Sandy Mishkin, RN,BC, MSN, Med
© 2008

the “biologic clock” – Run-Out-Of-Program Theory: limited genetic material that runs out – Gene Theory: activation of harmful genes . the gradual loss of function over time – Programmed Theory: genetically programmed deterioration.Biologic Theories  Explain the physical changes of aging.

Biologic Theories – Error Theory: Errors in RNA protein synthesis cause cell dysfunction – Somatic Mutation Theory: DNA damage leads to chromosome abnormalities – Free Radical Theory: Free radicals cause cell damage – Crosslink/Connective Tissue Theory: Cell molecules from DNA and connective tissue interact with free radicals to reduce the ability of tissue to regenerate .

Biologic Theories – Clinker Theory: Chemicals from metabolism accumulate in cells. resulting in cell damage – Wear-And-Tear Theory: Internal and external stressors damage body components over time – Neuroendocrine Theory: Dysfunction of the hypothalamus in regulating endocrine activity. causing age-related changes .

Biologic Theories – Immunologic Theory: Weakening of the immune system leads to increased disease – Calorie Intake Theory: Low calorie diet combined with high nutrient intake and exercise leads to metabolic efficiency .

Psychosocial Theories  Explain the variability in aging among older adults – Disengagement Theory: Society distances itself from the older person and the older person chooses to disengage from society – Activity Theory: Physical and mental activity preserve function .

Psychosocial Theories  Life-Course Theories – Best known to nursing – Erikson’s Theory: Eight stages of development – Havighurst’s Theory: Delineates specific tasks for late life – Newman’s Theory: Four tasks of aging – Jung’s Theory: Life as a continuous search for “ true self” .

. Basic geriatric nursing (4th ed. G. (2004). Louis: Mosby.References  Wold.). St.

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