Stages of Development

Group 10
Field of study that examines patterns of
growth, change, and stability in behavior
that occur throughout the entire life
process of accumulative changes to molecular
and cellular structure that
disrupts metabolism with the passage of time,
resulting in deterioration and eventually
bringing about death.
Physical appearance
• most obvious change in the elderly stage
• involves :
 skin aging and thinning; wrinkles
 hair thins and loses pigments
 height declines due to spine collapse and lose of
 visible blood vessels on the skin

Nervous system
• 50% of neurons may die in the visual,
auditory, and motor areas of the brain
• temperature management is poorer due to
the autonomic nervous system being less
• decrease in motor of coordination
Sensory Systems
• Loses its sensitivity due to aging

• reduced in dim light, nearby focus, color
• Cornea scatters light which blurs images

* Cataracts - cloudy areas in the lens which blur vision
and can cause blindness
* Macular degeneration - light-sensitive cells in the
macula (central region of the retina) break down,
resulting in blurry central vision and eventual
 Hearing
• death of the sense organs in the ear the cilia,
as well as the auditory cortex in the brain
• eardrum stiffens

*links to a certain paranoia, as deaf people fear others
are talking about them
* people learn to read lips as they experience hearing
 Taste and smell
• difficulty recognizing familiar foods by taste
alone due to : (1)dentures; (2)smoking;
(3)medications and; (4) strokes.
• smell receptors are lost after age 60; odor
perception becomes distorted in late
 Touch
• declines after age 70
• loss of touch receptors
• slowing of blood circulation in the extremities
Cardiovascular and Respiratory
• heart muscle becomes more rigid
• arteries stiffen and accumulate plaque
*heart pumps with less force, and blood flow slows*
• lung tissue loses elasticity, & capacity
• blood absorbs less oxygen and expels less
carbon dioxide
Immune system
• Auto-immune response - immune system
turns against normal body tissues
 puts elders at risk of infectious diseases
ex. cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes

• elders sleep less, more lightly, and have more
trouble going to sleep

*Sleep apnea - breathing ceases for 10 sec. or
more, causing the person to awaken with a
start to breathe again
Health, Fitness, and Disability
• Sexuality – decline in sexual desire and
frequency of activity in older people, but
desire is often still there.

*men have more trouble holding an erection
they will refrain to act sexual, fearing
embarrassment sexually*
• Physical disabilities
Respiratory diseases climb in late adulthood
*emphysema - loss of elasticity in lung tissue- most
result from smoking

*pneumonia- severe lung inflammation

Arthritis - condition of inflamed, painful, stiff or
swollen joints and muscles
Osteo-arthritis - cartilage that cushions the
bones in joints deteriorates, there is more
discomfort with movement

Rheumatoid arthritis - inflammation of
connective tissue, there is stiffness,
inflammation, and aching

• Mental disabilities
 Dementia - set of disorders that occur mostly in
old age in which many aspects of thought and
behavior are impaired

Alzheimer’s Disease - loss of thought, behavior,
and personality; main cause of dementia
- Short-term memory is first
affected, increased paranoia and fearfulness,
aggressiveness, social withdrawal
• use strategies less,
• can’t inhibit irrelevant information and
retrieve important information from long-
term memory
• takes in information more slowly

Implicit memory is memory without
conscious awareness.

This memory is more intact than deliberate memory,
trying to recall information.

Remote memory is very long-term recall.

It is not any clearer than recent recall for
seniors, even though the myth is that seniors
remember the past better than recent events.

Autobiographical memory is memory for your own
personally experienced events.

Seniors best recall their adolescent and early
adulthood experiences better than later life
Language processing
• finding the right words and planning what to
say and how to say it becomes harder
• more hesitations, false starts, sentence
fragments, word repetitions
• simplification of grammatical structures
• includes practical knowledge, ability to reflect
on and apply that knowledge, emotional
maturity, listening skills
Kathleen Stassen Berger in
The Developing Person
" the elderly think more slowly than younger adults”
•shrinking of the size of the brain w/c impairs
reaction time and ability to recall memories
•slower cell-to-cell transmission impulses
•slower cerebral blood flow.

Elderly Can Be as Fast as Young in
Some Brain Tasks, Study Shows
An article written by Jeff Grabmeier of Ohio State
• Ratcliff and his colleagues have
been studying cognitive processes and aging.
In astudy published online in the journal Child
Development, they extended their work to
• Ratcliff said their results in children are what
most scientists would have expected: very
young children have slower response times
and poorer accuracy compared to adults, and
these improve as the children mature.

• But the more interesting finding is that older
adults don't necessarily have slower brain
processing than younger people, said Gail McKoon,
professor of psychology at Ohio State and co-author of
the studies.
• "Older people don't want to make any errors at all, and
that causes them to slow down. We found that it is
difficult to get them out of the habit, but they can with
practice," McKoon said.
• Researchers uncovered this surprising finding by using
a model developed by Ratcliff that considers both the
reaction time and the accuracy shown
by participants in speeded tasks. Most models only
consider one of these variables.

Emotional development comes
about with maturity.
Emotional Development is the
combined progress of
cognitive, physical
and intellectual development
the development of a full range
of emotions from sad to happy
to angry, and learning to deal
with them appropriately.
•Modifies components of the life structure,
focusing on personally meaningful living.

• Self-acceptance, autonomy, and environmental
mastery increases.

•Re-evaluates life's structure and tries to change
components that are inadequate

• Becomes concerned with "passing the torch".
Desires that positive aspects of the culture survive.

•May become a grandparent.

•Parent-to-child help-giving declines, and child-to-
parent help-giving increases.

• May retire.

• As relatives and friends die, may develop
friendships with younger individuals.

•Relationships with adult children become more

• Frequency and variety of leisure activities

-An action or event marking a significant change
or stage in development.

-An important event, as in a person's career, the
history of a nation, or the advancement of
knowledge in a field; a turning point.

•Retirement from work.

•Having grandchildren or great grandchildren.

• Start of different symptoms of diseases due to
aging. Example: Alzheimer’s disease.

• Feeling of getting physically weak.

• Death of friends or loved ones.

• For some, transferring to retirement homes.