Post a thoughtful response to at least two (2) other colleagues’ initial postings. Responses to colleagues should be supportive and helpful (examples of an acceptable comment are: “This is interesting – in my practice, we treated or resolved (diagnosis or issue) with (x, y, z meds, theory, management principle) and according to the literature…” and add supportive reference. Avoid comments such as “I agree” or “good comment.”.
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- Response posts: Minimum of one (1) total reference: one (1) from peer-reviewed or course materials reference per response.
- Response posts: Minimum 100 words excluding references.
peer initial discussion 1
The purpose of this post is to compare and contrast two theories of aging as it relates to the role of a caregiver. Next, I will discuss one thing I have learned. Finally, I will talk about information that will most likely affect my nursing practice.
The two theories I chose to compare and contrast are the Disengagement theory and the Symbolic Interactionism theory. The Disengagement theory is based on the idea that as people age they lose interest in social activities and social ties because they expect to die. As a person grows old, their ability to engage with others declines causing them to lose touch with norms. The Symbolic Interactionism theory is based on the argument that factors such as the environment, people, or the person’s interactions with others can have a huge impact on the older patient’s thoughts and behaviors (Hooyman & Kiyak, 2010).
These two theories are similar in that they both have an impact on the patient’s behavior. The patient can become confused so the caregiver will have to know what to say or do to reorient the patient. Patients can often become confused enough to not be able to live alone causing the caregiver to have to move into their homes to provide continuous care.
The difference between these two theories is that with the Disengagement theory the patient becomes withdrawn or disengaged and loses touch with everyday norms. The caregiver will have to help the patient find his or her new norm to replace what their norms would usually be. This process can be quite difficult for the caregiver considering most older folks are generally set in their ways and usually don’t deal with change to well. With the Social Interaction theory, the patient does not become disengaged. The patient acts or reacts to his or her surroundings and environment which can lead to confusion or even anger. The caregiver will have to continuously help the patient get reoriented or help him or her calm down if the situation gets upsetting. I was caring for a patient one evening who was calm and cooperative all night. When the morning came around, the patient’s brother came to visit. The patient became very upset, agitated, and uncooperative. This went on for about an hour, until the brother left. After the brother left, I went back into the patient’s room and talked to him for a while. He slowly started to calm down and act like the patient I had been taking care of the entire night. My guess is the brother triggered something in the patient that made him feel this way. The patient didn’t talk about their relationship growing up so I can only assume something happened that bothered the patient.
One thing I have learned from this is that there are many theories about aging adults. I have heard of a couple theories but I had no idea there were so many. It was interesting to read about the different theories and try to apply some of them to the older patients I have cared for, for days to weeks at a time.
The one piece of information that will most likely affect my nursing practice is that I have become more aware of the difficulties older adults face with their cognitive abilities therefore, I will be more patient and sensitive to their needs.
In conclusion, the Disengagement theory and the Symbolic Interactionism theory are similar yet different. Both theories affect how a person thinks and behaves and the caregiver has to adjust his or her care accordingly. There are times the caregiver has to move in with the patient or move the patient in with him or her to provide continuous care. This can be a big burden to the caregiver and their family. Caregivers sometime have to give up much of their time to care for a loved one and most of their time is spent trying to keep that loved one involved in life. According to Hunter et al. (2013), Physical activity and social engagement helps to increase the longevity and quality of life in older adult. The longer the caregiver can help the patient stay active, the happier and healthier the patient will be.
Hooyman, N, R., & Kiyak, H. A. (2010). Chapter 8: Social theories of aging. [Power Point Presentation]. University of Idaho. Retrieved from http;//www.webpages.uidaho.edu/gbabcock/PDFs/hooyman_Ch8.pdf.
Hunter, R. H., Anderson, L. A., Belza, B. Bodiford, K., Hooker, S. P., Kochtitzky. C., Marquiz, D.X., & Satariano, W. (2013). Environments for Healthy Aging: Linking Prevention Research and Public Health Practice. PMC, 10, E55. Doi:10.5888/pcd10.120244.
Peer discussion 2
The purpose of this post is to compare and contrast two theories of aging as it relates to the caregiver. This post will also discuss one thing that I learned that I did not previously know. Furthermore, this post will discuss one piece of information that is most likely to affect my nursing practice. The two theories of aging that will be discussed in this post are the disengagement theory and the gerotranscendence theory. The disengagement theory can be briefly explained as a “step back” that the elderly person takes in their life, meaning they are less active, less attentive to the outside world and more preoccupied their own lives, which ultimately results in a power shift where the next generation takes over (Social Theories of Aging). The gerotranscendence theory looks beyond the simple biological change to a more psychic, intrinsic change that is labeled as “wisdom” which results from crossing over into a type of meta-world due to a shift from materialism to a more spiritual and rational viewpoint (Thorsen, 2009).
In regards to how these two theories of aging relate to the role of the caregiver, there are more differences than similarities. One difference is that the disengagement theory seems to describe the elderly person as withdrawn from society which could put a lot of strain on the caregiver to not only meet physical needs but all emotional and spiritual needs if the elderly person is not engaged in anything or fosters relationships with anyone else. To simply put it, the caregiver becomes everything to the elderly person, their nurse, their cook, their emotional support, the person they may look to for spiritual guidance, and so on. On the contrary, the gerotranscendence theory describes the elderly person as moving on to a more spiritual awareness, often referred to as wisdom, which could actually be of more help to the caregiver. In other words, the elderly person is helping the caregiver by imparting wisdom, and maybe helping the younger generation, the caregiver, to reach this meta-world, this shift from materialism to transcendence before they are actually an elderly person which could help the caregiver to see things as they truly are, what truly matters in life, and helping to have their priorities in the right order. One similarity between the two theories is that there is a shift of some kind, even though the shifts are different, there is a shift nonetheless that the caregiver has to anticipate and be adaptable to to help provide care for the elderly person.
One thing I learned that I did not know before was that there are different aging theories. That sounds silly but I don’t ever remember learning about aging theories in my ADN program. Learning about the different theories has made me think about some of the elderly people I have cared for, and to even think about my grandparents, and to contemplate what aging theory they fall under. I think one piece of information that will most likely affect my nursing practice is knowing about these aging theories and being more mindful of them when I am assessing elderly patients and interviewing them and trying to get an understanding of their home life so that I can better understand what their needs may be, if they need a caregiver and what possible strain the caregiver could be under providing care.
In conclusion, understanding aging theories plays an important role in understanding the elderly population. Knowing the aging theories and which one your elderly client may fall under can help anticipate their needs and help understand what kind of caregiver they need.
Social Theories of Aging. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2018, from https://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/gbabcock/PDFs/hooy…
Thorsen, K. (2009). The paradoxes of gerotranscendence: The theory of gerotranscendence in a cultural gerontological and post-modernist perspective. Norsk Epidemiologi,8(2), 165-176. doi:10.5324/nje.v8i2.464