Theories of ageing

Two theories of ageing

The two main theories of ageing are by a person called Erik Erikson, he believed that the older age (65 and above) have an idea that they have to maintain their ego integrity so that they can feel complete but on the other hand they will try to avoid despair, because they may feel that there is not enough time to make a new change in their life.


Disengagement theory is a person who starts to grow old, starts to withdraw themselves away from loved ones, society and everyday life, older adults voluntarily slow down by retiring, which is usually expected by society. A person with an idea of disengagement theory hold that mutual social withdrawal benefits both individuals and society. As a person grows older they may become more disengaged due to physical changes such as, their mobility/balance, vision and hearing worsen.


Diseases that can lead to more disengagement for an elder person can be things like; Alzheimers disease, Osteoporosis, macular degeneration and emphysema. These sorts of changes that occur in a person life as they age can leave them feeling isolated and not 'normal' due to everything changing, even though everything changes over a period of time, it can feel to them as if their life has changed over night.


Activity theory, sees a positive correlation between keeping active and ageing well. Erik Erikson came up with the idea of Activity theory that mutual social withdrawal runs along side ideas of doing activities and having energy. Research has not shown either of these modules to be better the the other.

Activity theory shows that growing old means different things to different people, individuals who led an active life as a young and middle aged person will most likely still be active as they age. Where as those who were less active in their younger and middle aged lives, will most likely be disengaged as they age.

If a person had been active in their life when they were young it can increase their life expectancy as they grow older, the influences they have as they get older will all depend on how they live their life when they are younger, this is due to if they were healthy or not, their attitude towards life and their family patterns.


This can influence them in their life as they age due to the fact that they have planned to live their life this way, this doesn't mean that they wouldn't go back and change things but instead means that they have to look forward to what they do have, and make ammends with it. Such as if they have an illness they need to remember they have the help they need such has delivery of free services for dental, prescriptions and eye test.

These factors in life can't be changed once they have arisen, purely for the fact that you can't go back in time.