Topic:Young-old and old-old


Volume: 2 pages

Type: Essay

Format: APA


Developmentalists have drawn a distinction between the young-old—elderly persons who are, for the most part, healthy and vigorous—and the old-old—those who suffer major physical, mental, or social losses. It is an ironic fact that many professionals who work with the elderly, including those who specialize in gerontology, have inadvertently fostered ageism by focusing on the difficulties and declines of the old-old and by studying the aged residents of nursing homes, who are often frail. Think of three elderly adults, at least one should fit the description of the young-old and one should fit the description of old-old. They may be relatives, friends, or even public personalities. Write approximately 400 words about each person, briefly describing his/her health, personality, and lifestyle. Explain why you have classified him/her as young-old or old-old. Indicate the extent to which each person fits, or does not fit, the usual stereotypes of the older adult. Finally, speculate as to why each person developed as he or she did. What losses, for example, might the old-old person have experienced? What gains might have helped to “age-proof” the young-old person? Assignment should be 1-2 page(s) in length.

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