Theories of Ageing

Activity Theory and Disengagement Theory

Activity Theory was written by Bromley in 1966.He argued that the elderly need to be mentally and psychically active.But they also needed remain active in order to prevent disengagement from going too far. Bromley said it is not sufficient merely to provide facilities for the elderly. They need to be taught to make use of them and encouraged to abandon bad attitudes and fixed habits. Bromley argued that it was important to remain mentally active and maintain an interest in life and enjoy the company of others. Too much disengagement would lead to being stagnation and a loss of mental and physical skills.

Social Disengagement;Disengagement means to withdraw from involvement. In 1961 two authors called Cumming and Henry put forward a disengagement theory that older people would naturally tend to withdraw themselves from social involvement with others as they get older. The elderly have restricted opportunities to interact with others due to ill health poor mobility or problems with hearing or vision may make other people more difficult. Cumming argued that older people would experience a reduction in social contacts as they grow older and become increasingly an individual and less concerned being around other people.He argued that it was okay and healthy for older people to withdraw from others and that disengagement was a natural part of ageing. The theory of disengagement was widely accepted in the past. For example Bromley 1974 argued that although some individuals fight the process all the way disengagement will happen either way