Theories of ageing

Ashé Medford-Small

Health and Social Care, BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

The Disengagement Theory


The Disengagement theory of ageing states that "ageing is an inevitable, mutual withdrawal or disengagement, resulting in decreased interaction between the ageing person and others in the social system he belongs to". The theory claims that it is natural and acceptable for older adults to withdraw from society.


The Activity Theory


The activity theory suggests that when they stay active and maintain social interactions. These activities , especially when meaningful, help the elderly to replace lost life roles after retirement and, therefore, resist the social pressures that limit an older person's world. The theory assumes a positive relationship between activity and life satisfaction


Disposable Theory


This theory combines the apparent decline force of natural selection after breeding age is reached. In 1997, Thomas Kirkwood's idea was that organisms have a limited amount of energy that has to be divided into reproductive activity and the maintenance of the non-reproductive aspects of the organism.