Explanation of Theories of Ageing

Task 3

Erikson's Stages of Ageing

This is a physiological theory of development which will consider the impact of external factors such as when parents and society on personality development from being in childhood then going on to adulthood.

Stage 1, this is when the child will start to develop optimism, confidence, trust and security it they are properly cared for by their parent or guardian. If that child is uncared for then they will start to develop some insecurities.

Stage 2, it’s the toddler stage when the children will have the opportunity to be able to build some self-esteem when they will begin to learn new skills and also know right from wrong. This is when children will then start to feel vulnerable due to having low-esteem as they will not be able to learn certain skills.

Stage 3, this is pre-school. This stage is when the children start to experience a desire to start to copy adults and use some initiative to create play certain situations. In most relationships at this stage is normally with a basic life of a child, school age child and then adolescent.

Stage 4, is the young adult stage. This is where people begin to seek or find love in their lives and companions so they can settle down and start a family. Middle aged adults will have their life career and work are the most important things. They will be able to take more responsibilities and have more control in their own lives.

Stage 5, this being the last stage of an adult. This is a stage believed that much of life is preparing for the middle adulthood stage and this last stage is for reflection on people past lives.

Aging Theory

It is known that everyone wants to age well, when we get to psychological theories of aging, defined as a focus on social and psychological aspects which is leading to a success of aging. This theory has different ways of defining to ‘success’ and varied ways of trying to reach it.

Disengagement theory views of aging as a process of with a mutual withdrawal in which older adults voluntarily slow down by retiring, as expected by society. The proponents of disengagement theory hold that a mutual social withdrawal benefits both individuals and society.

Activity theory is different as on the other hand, it sees a positive correlation between keeping active and the aging well. Proponents of activity theory hold that mutual social withdrawal that runs counter to traditional as American ideals of activity, energy and industry. It says in research of today has not shown either of these models to be superior to the other. Meaning growing old means different things for different people. As an individual who are less active as young and middle adults will probably remain active as older adults, while those who were less active in their time may become more disengaged as they age.


Ageism is included as discrimination or receiving negative treatment based on a person’s age. It can be impacted on someone’s confidence, job prospects or even their financial situation and their quality of life. It will also include the way of how that older person are represented in the media’s eye, which can have a much wider impact on the public’s attitudes. It is very important that ageism which is also called age discrimination, is addressed to make sure that nobody loses out because of their age.

Government perspectives

The government has a department for ageing called DWP. The group that brings together representatives from organisations that work with the older people, regional representatives from the older people groups, devolved nations, government’s offices and older people themselves. They are working with other countries and international organisations to help improve the lives of the elderly people that are ageing in society. The programme they are currently setting up is to recognise the huge contribution that people in later life make their local communities. The main aspect of the programme is to help to improve the efficiency of the local services in the current financial climate while still maintaining quality services.

The positive and negative factors of ageing

Positive effects on ageing

When people are ageing, the main factor is that they would like to choose the place where they will start to grow old. For an example is they was just staying at home or if they think it best they go into a care home for their own good. Both of these ways are very positive ways for an elderly person to start to age as they will feel that they have some sort of control within their lives due to the fact that they have made their own choices in where their last days will be. Elderly people will need to stay safe and in a completely supportive place to make sure that they will have the help that they need and the help that they want. There will be public health services available for their health and well being.

Negative effects on ageing

There are a lot of negative effects when it comes to ageing, this is because some elderly people will not be able to control their body as their ill health may take over and make all of the decisions for them. As people get older they start to eat less and as they are eating they may be eating less lean food which would mean their lean muscles will start to weaken and disappear. Eating less and may also lead to drinking less making then dehydrated which could then lead to getting kidney infections. As people start to get older the heart starts to get weaker which means it is having to work harder to circulate the blood around the body.

Socio-Economic factors on ageing

The socio-economic states is measured by education, income and also someone’s occupation. There are many older people who do not work because they are unable to therefore they will have limited income, coming in to support them. As they have limited incomes this would then result in the being economically disadvantaged. When older people have a bad income or next to none this could then result in having some sort of mental health because of all of the stress and the money issues, which is mostly likely to develop a psychological disorder. Ageing as a poorer person will then be much stressful as they will always be wondering about money which they shouldn't be worrying about as they will not be able to actually go out and make money they would just have to make do with what they have. They are also at a lot of risk of depression because of the stress as they may see others at the same age or know of others that are ageing happily with no worries, this is a lot of unnecessary stress for an old person.


Bereavement can lead to having a heart break that can affect someone’s immune system of an older person which would then make them open to more infection. It has said that scientists has done their research and have discovered that if an older person was to suffer from a loss they are physically weaker to defend themselves against bacteria, which could then lead to their body being completely frighten and won’t be able to fight against infections. Grief is a factor of bereavement which can affect someone state physically, mentally and emotionally and how someone will be able to relate to other people. Some people who are dealing with bereavement will get depression and that can lead someone to isolating themselves from others.


When there is a financial negative effect on the ageing process as the older you get the more healthcare you will need and some health care comes at a price. This may possibly result in a negative way in someone’s health as they are not able to get the care that they need. They then might have to live in poorer living conditions as they cannot affect to live a nicer home so they could start to grow older because of the effects of the environment. This could affect their private care if it was needed and they wouldn't be able to get the best care and when they needed it, as in free services they will have to wait their turn as there are other people in the same conditions.