Gerontology is the study of societal, emotional, and natural aspects of aging. It encompasses the examination of physical, mental, and social changes in individuals; the aging process, the interface of aging and related diseases, effects of aging on society, and relevance of the awareness to potential policies and programs for successful aging. The field of gerontology includes disciplines such as psychology and sociology to comprehend the mental status of aged individuals and the collective impact it may create. In medicine, there is a separate field called geriatrics to study disease characteristics of aging and the medical care associated with it. The field has gained magnitude in current times because every day over 5000 individuals in the USA celebrates their sixtieth birthday. This figure is only going to amplify rapidly now. As the number of old people increases, responsibilities and care related to aging also increase. The impact in western nations has been so huge that the funds are being allocated to study aging and innovate ways to successful age so that the economy is not hampered with aging-related problems. Scientists are working on ways to life extension and impede the aging process. Sustained collaborations have been sought with researchers and individuals across various disciplines to pursue successful aging. The goal of this essay is to understand the social behavior in aging and the implementation of successful aging.
The social behavior in Aging. Every primeval scripture mentions the beginning and termination of life. The life process involves the gradual changes in the biophysical and biochemical processes that lead to a phenomenon called aging. The Bible also speaks on aging as the blessing of God. The Bible has good guidelines to understand the individuals undergoing aging, how to be benefitted from them as they are more ingenious and knowledgeable; and the outlook for care towards the aged. But the public perceptions have changed in the fast-paced life where young generations find the aged a burden and as a result, there are institutions called ‘Old Age homes’ to look after the elderly.
In my view, society will stop trying to deny the aging process and accept the normal changes that come with it. Social behavior is reliant on the accessibility of numerous resources to combat the aging process, and they are further dependent on good scientific research. The people will still assemble to buy those anti-aging creams in the market and visit the skin clinics and doctors regularly. These are indispensable to successful aging; as an individual, the family and the society begin to take care of aging. The biogerontologist Leonard Hayflick mentioned that despite the best of research and medications to improve an extension to life, the life expectancy would peak at about 85 years, with 88 years for females and 82 years for males. The emphasis has shifted from attaining immortality to successful aging. The research has acknowledged factors predictive of successful aging in significant domains such as prevention of disease and disability, the continuation of high physical and cognitive function, and persistent engagement in social and industrious activities (Rowe & Kahn, 1997). But science has a propensity to recognize challenges and work against nature, so there would be scientists who would continue to persevere for a miracle against aging by finding key molecules or components implicated in one or the other process, and these (r)evolutionary innovations are better to the society.
Impact of an age-irrelevant society. In my view, there are better opportunities for successful aging in an age-irrelevant society. Aging is not a singular process. We age biologically, psychologically, sociologically, and the overall familiarity is determined by the connections between these. The social components need to understand each other. The social ecosystem involving the aged, the direct relatives, and the government have their responsibilities to ensure better opportunities for successful aging. With the increase of work responsibilities in day-to-day life, the young generation has gotten into the habit of forgetting the past, and focusing more on the future has only aggravated the issues related to aging and the aged. Precisely, no one is sure how far the old age homes have been contributing in the direction of successful aging. If the young people understand the old and accept them fully- socially as well as psychologically, then age would not matter in society at all. The people would begin to age successfully. There would be more frequent resourceful interactions between the two generations, which will only level the process. Thus the significant contribution should come from the younger lots to improve the socio-psycho-biological conditions of the aged (Franklin & Tate, 2008).
The field of gerontology has assumed importance to ensure successful aging, though the hard-working scientists would continue to provide breakthroughs to control the process and extend the life span of humans. The social ecology has to be understood and components webbed in a fashion that there is no anomaly and individuals feel better when they age and die. We have to adapt and follow the scientific procedures and social policies to ensure that aging becomes a blessing for the aged.
Franklin, N.C., & Tate C.A. (2008). Lifestyle and Successful Aging: An Overview. American Journal of Lifestyle and Medicine, 3(1), 6-11.
Rowe, J. W., & Kahn R. L. (1997). Successful Aging. The Gerontologist, 37(4), 433-440.