120 Essay 2: Critically evaluate the value of academic and applied psychology in facing the challenges of life in the twenty-first century. (Increasing ageing population)
This essay will be addressing the value of academic and applied psychology in facing the challenges of increasing ageing population in the 21st century.
Ageing refers to the process of spiritual, mental and social changes in organisms; however, population ageing refers to the increasing number of older adults in society which might be the result of advanced medical resources. Nowadays there are more people over the age of 65 living longer and healthier, hence the increasing population of older adults. In the 1950s, the ...view middle of the document...
In those time, there were lack of empirical methods that detached the unbelievable from believable ideas, therefore myths were created about the ageing process and distributed for generations (Birren and Schaie 2001, p3). Its seems that the older we get, the more changes we witness in ourselves, including the reduced ability to move quickly and reduced cognitive levels such as the working memory, reaction time and the ability to remember names (martin et al 2013, p 406) Nonetheless, vocabulary seems to improve as we get older (woodruff-park 1997). However there are large individual differences in cognitive abilities related to reaction time, memory and intelligence (Morse 1993).
Age has always reminded people of the likelihood of diseases, and dying (HBPA, p3), this is because the older you get, the more vulnerable you are to getting ill and having diseases. Though, nowadays older people are healthier and better educated which can be associated with crystallised intelligence and slower rate of decline in memory (Schmand et al 1997, p411). Older people are also living longer due to greater health and improvement in physical functioning such as the increase in ability to walk a mile. However, the likelihood of developing diseases and chronic illnesses increases with age (Czaja & Sharit 2009). The increase in elderly population means that more help with aspects of daily living for the elderly will be needed (Czaja & Sharit 2009).
Positive results memory have been obtained in recent research via computer in older adults with mild cognitive impairment; suggesting that training in memory exercise can improve episodic memory which may then lead to enhancements in prospective memory (Martin et al 2013, p410). Recent research on ageing and memory has focused mainly on prospective memory which involves remembering to perfume an activity in the future (Maylor 1996), this is important for the elderly as such monitoring is crucial for taking medicines at particular times (Martin et al 2013, p408)
Most studies of fMRI have identified age related changes in the default mode network (DMN), which is a specific set of brain region that is active during rest and suppressed during an active task. A longitudinal study by Persson, Pudas, Nilsson,and Nyberg (2014) looked at changes in DMN activity and connectivity using episodic memory task. The result showed that reduced deactivation in DMN was associated with increasing ageing. Longitudinal studies may be able to increase sensitivity for detecting subtle age, but may have practice effects that caused by being expose repeated task exposed to repeated tasks, hence may alter/affect cognitive performance (Persson et al 2014).
Technology has been increasingly used in the health care settings, sanctioning health care providers to use it to communicate with older patients and reminding them of appointments (Czaja & Sharit 2009). Several studies have identified that online support groups are beneficial for the...