Social Theories of Aging

Aging can be explained in three different theories which include activity theory, which states that living a good life reduces the rate of aging. The theory suggests that aging depends on how individuals maintain personal relationships despite old age. Then there is the disengagement theory which states that aging is inevitable. The theory maintains that when individuals grow old, they start disengaging themselves from activities in society, including social interaction (Trevisan et al., 2019). As a result, the old acquire a sense of withdrawal. In my opinion, there is indeed a positive relationship between the quality of life that an individual lives and aging. However, the activity theory does not explain why there exists older adults but who are suffering in life. I tend to agree with the disengagement theory, which states that aging is a natural occurrence which individuals should learn to accept.  Furthermore, with aging comes the reduction of body energy, which limits the kinds of activities an older person can engage in. I, however, partially disagree with the idea that disengagement varies with gender. The withdrawal comes as a result of loneliness, which makes the individual acquire some form of depression. Depression affects everyone regardless of their sex. 

  Family, friends and other informal support

From the video about supporting elderly parents, we learn to appreciate that when parents grow old, they begin to change their character. They become unable to perform some activities, and they also tend to be forgetful at times. Soon the roles reverse and the children take the parental role. It is wise to know that parents are also humans and they have their needs and faults too (Teerawichitchainan et al., 2015). Young people should, therefore, learn to redefine and accept the relationship at that age. Understand them and provide them with their needs. Young people should learn to prioritize their parents after they grow old.

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From the video labeled “Sex and the Senior Center,” it is evident that Old people are the best people to go for advice on sexual matters because they have a lifetime experience on the subject. Young people have been seeking information on sexual issues from the media and their peers who they feel free to share their sexual life. Like the old ladies put it, the secrets to a healthy intimate relationship is being kind to one another, knowing each other better, and getting into each other’s lives. It is also advisable to learn to let go when in a relationship with someone whom you do not share the same interests.

    Informal and Family Caregiving

I genuinely believe in the importance of loving and caring for old parents. I also think that the best way to care for them is by giving them some peace of mind and not making them the center of all agreements in family. By making plans together, sharing tasks as siblings, and helping each other learn what they do not know it becomes easy to take care of an old parent (Gautun & Hagen, 2010). Furthermore, nothing makes parents happy than siblings who live in harmony. In the case of existing conflicts, individuals should seek intervention before the situation becomes severe to the extent of affecting the parent. Individuals should also learn to accept that their abilities toward their parent are also limited and thus appreciate the little they can achieve and do for their aging parents. They should, therefore, mind their well-being too and seek help when the feeling is too much. Let everyone realize that too much stress is unhealthy and may hinder your ability even to take care of the parents if not controlled.   


Gautun, H., & Hagen, K. (2010). How do middle-aged employees combine work with caring for elderly parents? Community, Work & Family, 13(4), 393–409.

Teerawichitchainan, B., Pothisiri, W., & Long, G. T. (2015). How do living arrangements and intergenerational support matter for psychological health of elderly parents? Evidence from Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand. Social science & medicine, 136, 106-116.

Trevisan, K., Cristina-Pereira, R., Silva-Amaral, D., & Aversi-Ferreira, T. A. (2019). Theories of Aging and the Prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease. BioMed Research International, 1–9

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