Theories of Ageing

A comparison between disengagement and activity theory

Activity Theory

The activity theory is developed by the theorist Robert Havighurst. This theory says that the elderly are happier when they are more active. This means they are able to interact with other people and they are able to talk to people rather than sit down all day in silence. As well as being interactive for longer they are also more sociable as a result. After this they can become physically active which can also have psychological benefits as they will feel better about themselves. When the elderly people are going out more and talking to other people more they will become more engaged. As a result of all of this the elderly people will start to feel better about themselves and this can result in their self confidence increasing. This can then lead to the elderly people becoming more independent. This means that they will be more willing to do things for themselves.

Disengagement Theory

The disengagement theory is developed by the theorists Cummings and Henry. This theory describes how elderly people can become lonely and disengaged. As the individuals get older they may stay at home more rather than going out. This means that they interact and talk less to other people. This can lead to these individuals becoming lonely and as a result these individuals could suffer from depression in the long term. As well as this the elderly people will become socially withdrawn and they will find it harder to communicate and talk to people when they need to. This can be due to them not being in that situation for a long period of time so they are not sure how they should react or reply. This can then lead to the elderly people becoming depressed. They will start to feel sad and lonely and if it is not treated they will get worse. The result of this could be suicidal though which can lead to suicide.