Study "Aging / Death / Gerontology" Essays 1-55

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Savages in the Film Research Paper

… , 2010).

From the community standpoint there are several resources that deal with dementia. First, there are dementia support groups and many communities for caregivers, relatives, and persons with dementia. These support groups provide an outlet for the relatives and caregivers of people with dementia and can also provide much-needed education and social support for these individuals. Often the relatives of the person with dementia are in need of education and support regarding how to understand dementia and deal with the issues associated with and support groups offer a means to achieve this. There are some community programs that allow people with dementia to interact with therapists, groups, and engage in activities on a daily basis and then return home with their caregiver later in the day (Alzheimer's Association, 2012). Such programs have been shown to be quite beneficial for these people and may even result in improvements or delayed progression of the disorder. There are also fund raising events and toll-free support lines from the Alzheimer's Association (Alzheimer's Association, 2012).

Of course other community supports for dementia include rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, hospitals, publicly funded programs, etc. In addition, national support groups such as the Alzheimer's Association offer community supports for people with dementia, their relatives, or caregivers (Alzheimer's Association, 2012).


Alzheimer's Association (2012).

American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV-Text Revision. Washington, DC: Author.

de Boer, M.E., Hertogh, C.M.P.M., Droes, R.M., Riphagen, I.I., Jonker, C., & Eefsting J.A. (2007). Suffering from dementia - the patient's perspective: A review of the literature. International Psychogeriatrics, 19(6), 1021-1039.

Jenkins, T. (2007). (Jenkins, T. Director & Payne, A. Producer) The savages [Film]. United States, This In That Studios.

Miller, B.L. & Boeve, B.F. (2009). The behavioral neurology of dementia. New York:

Sadock, B.J., & Sadock, V.A., (2007). Kaplan and Sadock's synopsis of psychiatry:

Behavioral sciences/clinical psychiatry (10th edition). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Schoenmakers, B., Buntinx, F., & Delepeleire, J. (2010). Factors determining the impact of care giving on caregivers…… [read more]

Cellular Function and Aging Tumor Research Paper

… A very unique finding was the comparison of cancer cells from prostate and senescent cancer cells from prostate cultures. These tumor cell lines showed a near overlap between the proteins secreted before and after senescence indicating that senescent cell SASP's… [read more]

Aging Public Health Issues Everything Term Paper

… A balanced diet full of essential minerals, vitamins and nutrients can surely prevent many of the complications. Along with it, a proper routine of exercise, a regular health checkup and a positive attitude towards life are some of the things, which can help a person overcome the problems associated with aging and make this while process a lot more pleasant.

There is no denying the fact that aging is inevitable. It cannot be reversed. A human has to encounter this process in the later ages of life. One thing that can help to slow down this process is having a positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle. If a person adopts a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude towards this process, many small problems can be controlled easily. In addition to it, if a person prepares for this process before hand by taking care of both physical and mental health, the process can be quite pleasant. Having proper planning and engaging one's self in purposeful and constructive activities can surely bring out the positive aspects of this process.

Works Cited

Burton, Dominick. "Definition of Aging" Aging Research. N.p., n. d. Web. Web. 12 Oct. 2012. .

Challem, Jack, and Rosemary Geonta Alfieri, M.A. User's Guide to Anti-Aging Nutrients: Discover How You Can Slow Down the aging process and increase energy. United States of America: Basic Health Publications, Inc., 2004. 2. eBook.

Posner, Richard A. Aging and Old Age. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995. 56. eBook.

"Proceedings of the Aging Americans: Impacts on Ecology and Environmental Quality Workshop." Proceedings of the Aging Americans: Impacts on Ecology and Environmental Quality Workshop. EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency, August 2004. Web. 10 Oct 2012. .

"The effects of ageing." Department for Work and Pensions, n.d. Web. 11 Oct 2012. .… [read more]

Dementia and Normal Ageing Old Essay

… In dementia cases, the person may misplace an item and not be able to trace it later on and not even be able to know that the object that they misplaced was theirs or that they need it. A good example is one losing the reading glasses and not even recalling that they need lenses to read, this does not happen with normal aging where the person can lose the glasses but will recall that they need them and retrace their steps to where they misplaced the glasses.

People with dementia will display inability to judge distance or to estimate heights. They may perceive a rung of a ladder or step of a stair to be much higher than it actually is. They also have a tendency of imagining that someone else is in the room if they happen to pass by a mirror. On the other hand, someone aging normally may just have challenges in seeing due to presence of cataracts. The people with dementia can also display various disorientations including the loss of sense of time as well as place. He may not know the time of the day and even not recognize a place they have been for a good number of years before the onset of the condition. There is possibility of the persons changing their personality with the onset of the condition or regularly acting out of character. They can be too careful, suspicious and confused at times.

Sadly there is no known cure for this condition and once it sets in at the old age, there is likelihood that the person will live with it till death as noted by Guo S. (2012) in the International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. The best that can be done is so be aware of the condition through regular diagnosis then to get the right handling of the person and help that is appropriate to the individual.


Barry W. Roney (2005). The Prevalence and Management of Dementia and Other

Psychiatric Disorders in Nursing Homes. International Psychogeriatrics-Cambridge Journals. Vol.2 Issue 1. Retrieved October 14, 2012 from

Pieter J. Visser, (1999:2). Medial temporal lobe atrophy and memory dysfunction as predictors for dementia in subjects with mild cognitive impairment. J Neurol. Vol.245. Pp478

Guo S. At al., (2012). Florbetaben PET in the Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease: A

Discrete Event Simulation to Explore Its Potential Value and Key Data Gaps. International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Pp4. Retrieved October 14, 2012 from

Heijer T. et al., (2012). Vascular risk factors, apolipoprotein E, and hippocampal decline on magnetic resonance imaging over a 10-year follow-up. Retrieved October 14, 2012 from

Kevin R. & Anna M., (2007). Dementia syndromes: evaluation and treatment. National Institute of Health: Expert Rev Neurother. Vol.7 Issue 4. Pp 407-422

National Institute of Health, (2012). Alzheimer's Disease Genetics fact Sheet. National Institutes of Health: National institute of aging. Retrieved October 13, 2012 from

Rawan T & David M., (2012). The Clinical Problem of Symptomatic… [read more]

Aging Services Essay

… ¶ … Aging Services

Aging is a concern that is relevant to all human beings. Even those who will not reach a very high age before death have at least one family member who can be classified as elderly. As a society, the services we currently have in place for the elderly are somewhat inadequate. This is one thing that the professional who aims to provide services for the elderly need to take into account. Providing adequate services will require a thorough knowledge of both the aging process and the issues faced by those who are classified as elderly on a day-to-day basis. Only by understanding issues such as the demographics of aging, housing, and elder abuse, can an adequate level of service be created and provided.

The demographics of aging can start to be understood by considering the statistics. There have never been more elderly people in the world (Niles-Yokum and Wagner, 2011, p.4). Because of the improvement in medical technology and lifestyle choices, human life expectancy has increased almost exponentially. This means that an increasing range and number of services for the elderly will be needed. More long-term care services will also be required; people may age better than in the past and live longer, but a large part of old age also means that individuals can no longer care for themselves.

In this regard, there are also age subgroups that need to be taken into account, who will require differentiated levels and types of services. A person of 60 years old, for example, will most likely not require the same level of care as a centenarian. Four age subgroups are identified by Niles-Yokum and Wagner (2011, p. 5); 1) the group between the ages of 65 and 74; 2) those who are 75-84 years old; 3) the group from 85 and older; and 4) centenarians. Between 1990 and 2007, there has been a high increase in all four subgroups, with the highest being those who have reached a 100 years of age. The service provider should take into account the various needs and concerns of each age group when providing services, taking care that such services be provided while maintaining an optimal level of dignity and autonomy while providing these services.

Another important demographic factor related to aging that should be taken into account by service provider is the increasing diversity of the older population. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (2011), there is a particular increase in African-American and Hispanic elderly citizens in the United States. These population groups are also likely to have their own needs and concerns related to their various cultures. Hence, it is important to provide targeted services for them. Indeed, their individual and collective concepts of dignified aging and the retention of autonomy may not mean the same thing as these do for other population groups. Hence, it is important for care service provides to understand the particular needs of various cultural groups when it comes to receiving… [read more]

Mechanisms of Aging Research Paper

… Experiments have shown that Daf proteins affects fatility and movement of the flies at the same time shifting metabolism towards the breakdown of fats which is similar to mechanism played by insulin in humans.

Another similarity between the genes of worms and that of flies is that they both exhibit gene Sir2 which its activity increases under calorie restriction i.e. reduction of glucose in the cell. Calorie restriction leads to increased NAD+ which activates Sir2 necessary for extending life span.

Rodent cells have a replicative lifespans that is substantially shorter than that of human cells. Experiments done on mice cells have shown that their embryo fibroblasts cease their division after 5-10 PD in culture since mouse embryo fibroblasts are much more sensitive than human fibroblasts to the 20% oxygen in which the cells are cultured, but with reduction of the oxygen to about 3-5%, their replicative lifespan can double Nigam ( 623)

Humans have been found to have a replicative lifespans that range from (10PD to 80PD). For fetal and neonatal, their cells proliferate at a rate of 50-80PD, whereas fibroblast from an adult donor has a replicative lifespan of lower that 40PD. But this replicative lifespan can vary from one donor to the other. In recent experiment on human cells senescence, the fibroblast extracted from various fetal and adult tissue show that they do not differ in any way with the deference in developmental stage, tissue use and the tissue itself Nigam ( 619)

. They all exhibited similar behavior with regard to genetic and environmental control of replicative lifespan. The replicative senescence of the human fibroblasts shows the following characteristics Mackenzie, Bussiere and Tinsley ( 43)

With increase in PDs, the telomeres progressively shorten, their cells arrest growth with a G1 DNA content and senescent phenotype, also, their replicative lifespan are extended when there are manipulations that inactivate critical component of either pRB or p53 pathways, and inactivation of both the pRB and p53 pathways synergistically extend the replicative life span, but the population enters an unstable termed crisis from which rare immortal variants may arise Comfort ( 263)

In hydra, senescence has been found to be negligible; they are known to reduce damaging effect of free radicals through dilution and cell division. Research concerning hydra species, their lifespan is mostly affected by both environmental and genetic factors since they are able to live for many years. They only die or become immortal as a result of disease or trauma.

Other studies show that the worms, humans and flies have a similarity of all of them having the Extra-chromosomal circular DNA which segregate and replicate to the mother cell during cell division and this is what results to cellular senescence by competing for the necessary nuclear factors Mackenzie, Bussiere and Tinsley ( 86)

Works cited

Comfort, Alex. "Biological Aspects of Senescence." Biological Reviews 29.3 (1954): 284-329. Print.

Mackenzie, Danielle K.,…… [read more]

Primary and Secondary Aging Essay

… ¶ … Secondary Aging

Many people think of aging as a one-dimensional construct, but some experts in aging have come to embrace the idea of aging as a two-dimensional construct. The first dimension is primary aging. Primary aging involves innate… [read more]

Hospice and Attitudes Towards Death Essay

… On the contrary, palliative care is generally part of the hospice experience. While life-saving treatments are not used during hospice care, they do use different methods that treat pain. This makes a huge difference for patients and their families. Referral to hospice programs does not increase quantity of life, but it has been shown to increase the patient's quality of life (Devi, 2011). Moreover, hospice and other palliative care management programs can decrease the care giver's distress, which may make them more accepting of death and dying (Devi, 2011). This change may help increase societal acceptance of aging and death. Deaths facilitated by a good hospice team lack some of the horrific elements of deaths where the patient is in pain, family members can be present during the dying process, and most hospice professionals have experience helping family members deal with grief.

One of the interesting aspects about hospice care is that it can also impact the attitudes of the medical team. In a self-study of one of the author's experience with dealing with the dying, Tan and Cheong were able to identify three different paradigms for how doctors approach denying patients and their families: denial, good death, and life. In the denial approach, the doctors engage in a general denial about death and dying. In the good death approach, doctors focus on making the patient's death painless and as comfortable as possible. In the life approach, the doctors treat death as part of the patient's life and the family's life (Tan & Cheong, 2011). What their research suggests is that a hospice program, doctors can interact with the patient and family for the death, accepting the death as a natural part of life, and helping everyone involved deal with the death and process grief in a healthy manner.


Devi, P.S. (2011). A timely referral to palliative care team improves quality of life. Indian J.

Palliat Care, 17(Suppl): S14-6.

Quadagno, J. (2008). Aging and the life course: An introduction to social gerontology. New York: McGraw Hill.

Tan, Y.S., & Cheong, P.Y. (2011). Experiences in caring for the dying: a doctor's narratives.…… [read more]

End-Of-Life Issues in Gerontology Research Paper

… Gerontology

End of life Issues in Gerontology

What is death?

Death is the cessation of the association between ones mind and their body. The majority of people believe that death occurs when the heart stops beating; but this does not denote that the person has died, for the reason that his subtle mind may still continue in his body. Death takes place when the subtle awareness finally leaves the body to go to the next life (What is Death, 2007).

Competing ideas about the nature and meaning of death

It used to be that the word dead seemed unambiguous and certain. Death in a physiological sense meant the end of both heartbeat and breathing, known as cardio-respiratory arrest. Nowadays, most doctors see this criterion as irrelevant and in its place; they have taken on a set of neurological criteria that define death as the nonappearance of brain activity, in spite of other bodily functions (Ingersoll, 2011).

Biomedical approaches to the definition of death

The biomedical model of medicine was established in the 19th century as an answer to the medical information of the time. The information being that man was a part of nature and thus could be considered in the same way as nature, at a cellular level. The biomedical model advocates that people only got ill from things which attacked the body or from unintentional harm. The biomedical model is still used today in recognizing illnesses and diseases but not what causes them and what causes death (What is the western health model biomedical model, 2011).

4. Conditions that resemble death

When determining whether death has occurred or not it is important that medical personnel exclude the possibility of recovering any brain functions. There are some reversible conditions that may mimic death by neurologic criteria. These include: Hypothermia, Intoxication, Sedative and hypnotic drugs, neuromuscular blockade, severe electrolyte abnormalities, severe acid-base abnormalities and Shock (Sample Guidelines for the Determination of Death: Including Death by Neurologic Criteria, n.d.).

5. What is dying and when does it begin?

The onset of ill health is frequently accompanied by a change in social status, especially if connected to a terminal illness. Lowered expectations or even outright aversion frequently occurs. This is what is frequently known as dying. In the most universal formulations, dying starts when a fatal illness is documented by a doctor; the patient is told of the fatal condition; the patient understands and acknowledges the facts; everybody in the situation comprehends and accepts the facts; and nothing more can be done to turn around the condition and maintain life (Process of Dying, 2011).

6. Trajectories of dying: from beginning to end

People who are dying do not move toward death at the same pace or in the same manner. Dissimilar causes of death are connected with dissimilar patterns of dying. These patterns, known as dying trajectories, point toward the course of a person's experience of dying. Trajectories affect the kinds of emotional reactions and coping mechanisms exhibited by patients and their… [read more]

Aging and Death Dissertation

… ¶ … aging and death but with an Asia inclination. We discuss the concept within a Japanese context. We start with a general view of the concept across the globe and then later on present our investigation and findings regarding… [read more]

Psychological Effects of Aging Term Paper

… This study showed that regular attendance of religious service as seen in the African-American have an impact on mortality. Healthy behavior patterns in the form of exercising and nonsmoking were seen with the attendance of regular religious services and this reduced the mortality rate in these groups. The study went on to show that the thought processes in the African-Americans due to the influence of religion had a positive influence in the perceived self-control of health prevention and thus ultimately influencing health behavior. (Health Behavior of African-American Men)


Booth, Evangeline. "Chapter 13: The Resiliency of Older Ethnic Minorities" Retrieved from Accessed on March 20, 2005

"Chapter 1: The Growth of Social Gerontology" Retrieved from Accessed on March 20, 2005

Plowden, Keith O. (1999) "Health Behavior of African-American Men" Retrieved from Accessed on March 20, 2005

Scharlach, Andrew E; Fuller-Thomson, Esme; Kramer, Josea. B. "Curriculum Module on Aging and Ethnicity: African-American Elderly." Retrieved from Accessed on March 20, 2005

Scharlach, Andrew E; Fuller-Thomson, Esme; Kramer, Josea. B. "Curriculum Module on Aging and Ethnicity: Perspectives on Minority Aging" Retrieved from Accessed on March 20, 2005… [read more]

Physiological Changes Associated With Aging: Mechanisms Research Proposal

… 10). The study results indicate that frail older adults are more likely to suffer from low systolic blood pressure. This, the authors opine, can be associated with the impairment of the cognitive system and increased mortality among frail individuals. This low systolic blood pressure impacts negatively on the individual's overall health and can be a major cause of cardiovascular disorders (Heckman et al., 2013; Bherer et al., 2013). In summary, this article dwells specifically on the change to the cognitive system associated with aging and reports that the reduction in transmitters and neurons, and the subsequent impairment of the thermoregulation system inhibit the effective functioning of the cognitive system and lead to the worsening of the associated cardiovascular changes.

Moreover, the associated change gives rise to "new concerns, including behavioral and communication problems (likely related to delirium), incontinence, pain, mobility problems, acute decline in basic activities of daily living," and higher risks of functional decline (Heckman, Gray & Hirdes, 2013, pp. 11-12).

Glassock (2009)

This article dwells on GFR decline as a change associated with senescence. The author points out that "the decline in GFR is a normal and expected phenomenon that does not in, and of itself confer any selective disadvantage upon the individual, unless other diseases are superimposed" (Glassock, 2009). The article points out that the kidney's excretory function and the strength of bladder contraction diminish with aging, creating incontinence and voiding problems in women, and prostate enlargement in males, and increasing vulnerability to genitor-urinary system cancers. The author's main point, however, is that this particular associated change is an inevitable, integral, and predictable part of aging, and not a disease as some have argued.


Aging is characterized by the impairment of the homeostatic processes that integrate different organs. Major changes accrue to the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, renal, cognitive, and endocrine systems, leading to homeostatic failure under conditions of physiological pressure. Owing to the progressive dysfunction of endothelial cells, arteries lose their elasticity and the valves in the heart thicken, causing a reduction in cardiac output. On another note, the strength of the intercostals muscles diminishes from the effect of wear and tear, causing the chest walls to become stiffer, the alveoli less elastic, and the ribcage stiffer and less capable of contracting and expanding during the respiratory process. The skin, like all other tissues, loses its elasticity and vitality and makes way for atrophy, dryness, and wrinkles. In the gastrointestinal system, the stomach undergoes atrophy which reduces its secretion of acid, lengthening the emptying process, and causing frequent constipation. Moreover, muscle strength and mass diminishes, leading to bone fractures and increasing the risks of falls and osteoporosis. It is crucial that providers understand the aforementioned changes because only then will they be in a position to advance proper care to the elderly in society.


Bherer, L., Erickson, K.I. & Liu-Ambrose, T. (2013). A Review of the Effects of Physical Activity and Exercise on Cognitive and Brain Functions in Older Adults. Journal of Aging Research, vol.… [read more]

Epicurus's View on Death Essay

… ¶ … Epicurus's view on death

Death has remained the subject of many discussions in the past and the present. Many philosophers and historians have given their ideas about death. Many interesting ideas and philosophies have come into notice about… [read more]

Ndes a Near Death Experience Essay

… Therefore, it is highly likely that researchers working with the assumption that near death experiences teach us about life after death work under a biased presupposition.

Potential for Future Research

Because it can be studied from a scientific, spiritual, psychological, or cultural perspective, the near death experience offers the means to bridge the gaps between these disciplines. Scientists studying the near death experience "support the need for a radical revision of mainstream views concerning the relationship between the brain and consciousness," (Braithwaite, 2008). Near death experiences have been linked with experiences of telepathy (Blackmore, n.d.). The link with telepathy suggests that studying the person's brainwaves and psychological state before, during, and after the experience could yield potent information about consciousness and reality; these are the questions to which both science and religion strive. Talbot (1991) frames the near death experience in phenomenological terms, positing that they represent a holographic model of the universe. Likewise, Kenneth Ring upholds the notion that a near death experience offers much more than a way to contend with mortality on an individual level. These experiences could offer insight into the very nature of reality.


Blackmore, S. (n.d.). Near-death experiences. Excerpt from The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience. Retrieved online:

Blackmore, S.J. (1993). Near-death experiences in India: They have tunnels too. Journal of Near Death Studies 11(4). Retrieved online:

Braithwaite, J.J. (2008). Near death experiences: The dying brain. Skeptic 21(2).

Grayson, B. (2006). Near death experiences and spirituality. Zygon 41(2). Retrieved online:

Green, J.T. (1998). Near-death experiences, shamanism, and the scientific method. Journal of Near-Death Studies 16(3).

Pasricha, S. (1993). A systematic survey of near-death experiences in South India. Journal of Scientific Exploration 7(2): 161-171.

Ring, K. (1980). Life After Death. William Morrow.

San Filippo, D. (1991). The consciousness of near-death experiences. Retrieved online:

Talbot, M. (1991). The Holographic Universe.…… [read more]

Efforts to Achieve Healthy Aging Thesis

… We are all used to "healthy eating" and "healthy drinking" with which consideration, food and drinks considered to be good for health are particularly stressed and listed for recommended consumption. To date, not only is healthy food and drink redefined,… [read more]

Aging Biological, Psychosocial, and Developmental Essay

… This perspective is continuous and recognizes the various developments that occur during specific age periods and is utilized in studies in many areas of science such as psychology and anthropology. Another attribute of this perspective is that it is contextual; an individual constantly acts and reacts to situations based on past events, biological makeup, physical environment and social and cultural events (Hernandez, 2008).

Three main developmental domains are recognized in this perspective (Boyd and Bee, 2006). The physical domain encompasses the bodily changes an individual experiences including transformations in height, weight, shape as well as puberty. Also included in this domain are an individual's perception of self and the world. The cognitive domain deals with events such as thinking, the process an individual goes through during while making decisions and memory. All cognitive functions are categorized within this domain. The third domain is social. This social domain encompasses the flux associated with relationships between the individual and others. Studies of social skills and research on individual differences in personality fall into this category.


None of the theories proposed can claim sufficient evidence to account for the aging effects that are witnessed and experienced in humans. Though we do not know why we age, we do know that longevity has increased and by that the possibility that the aging process has slowed. In all of these perspectives the common theme is change.

Healthcare professionals need to communicate and collaborate across disciplines, as well as use a uniform common language to enhance communication. It is imperative that nurses analyze these theories and place emphasis on the quality of life of older adults. Furthermore society should develop a positive view of older adults and their potential within society. Older adults are unique individuals with valuable life experiences that should be utilized. Society must change or eliminate stereotypes about older adults.


"Biological aging theories." (2009). Azinet LLC. Retrieved October 22, 2012, from

Boyd, D. & Bee, H. (2006). Lifespan development. (4th ed.). Boston MA: Pearson Education Inc.

Hernandez, C. (2008, August 20). Lifespan perspective on human development. Health and Wellness Retrieved October 22, 2012, from

"Theories of aging" (NDI). Retrieved October 22, 2012, from… [read more]

Othello and Death Knocks: Two Essay

… Othello clearly believes he is not worthy of Desdemona -- because of his color and his age -- but rather than admit that he fears she has every reason to cheat on him with Cassio, he sublimates this (with Iago's prodding) into a conviction that she has already cheated him.

Iago is helped by the fact that Othello is a man who is more inclined to trust men than women, thanks to his military upbringing. Desdemona has forsaken her father and her family for his sake, yet Othello trusts Iago's words over hers. He has no reason to do so and has even promoted Michael Cassio over Iago to be his lieutenant. But despite his evident belief in Cassio's greater competency, because Iago gives voice to Othello's greatest fears, Othello believes the man who hates him. A combination of blindness to his own self-dislike and blindness to the goodness of women results in the tragic death of Desdemona at Othello's hands.

Woody Allen's play Death Knocks is a comedy rather than a tragedy. Yet it retains some of the characteristics of a tragedy in which the main character has a flaw of blindness to his true nature. Death regards himself as powerful and mighty. But in the eyes of Nat Ackerman, Death is a 5'7 man who has to climb up a drainpipe to make a grand entrance. Nat challenges Death to a game of gin rummy to buy him a little bit of extra time on earth, and Nat beats Death easily. Death's image of self-confidence is destroyed by Nat. Also, Death's self-aggrandizement and arguments with Nat about petty things about his height suggest that the persona of awesomeness and terror Death has tried to cultivate is a shell that hides vulnerable insecurities.

Nat offers to allow Death to win his money back the next night, and Death immediately turns whining and petulant, complaining that he has nowhere to stay over night without money. Nat insults Death, saying that the way Death plays gin rummy he probably has a couple of extra years before Death beats him at the game. "He's such a schlep," sighs Nat as he picks up the phone and calls his friend Moe, completely nonplussed at the experience.

Both plays, despite their radically different tones, rely upon a discrepancy between reality and appearances to create a sense of drama. In Othello, the frustration and tragedy of the play lies in the fact that the audience knows that Iago is deceiving Othello, but Othello is completely blind to because of the Moor's insecurities and worries about Desdemona's chastity. The humor in Death Knocks derives from the incompetence of Death, despite his terrifying Grim Reaper persona, and the way in which Nat's greater sense of confidence renders Death completely defenseless. Othello becomes the savage person Brabantio saw him as at the beginning of the play because of his self-consciousness; Death loses his power to dominate humans when his imperfections are revealed.

Works Cited

Allen, Woody. Death Knocks.… [read more]

Psychology of Age and Euthanasia Research Paper

… Often time being open and discussing the future one death has been accepted by all parties can create a loving and bonding relationship. A wide range of ethical issues such as euthanasia, passive euthanasia, and voluntary active euthanasia may come up in a dying process. Socially, people hold many different opinions about the subject of euthanasia and can lead to very debatable conversations resulting in tension within a family.

Euthanasia may be an option if the patient is terminally ill. Patients with cancer or any other disease that cannot be treated live with it until the day they die. "Allowing people to choose to end treatment is one way to fight the nations soaring care bills" (Jussim 11). They can try to treat it and decrease the amount of pain, but euthanasia is faster and cheaper then any other solution. This decision might be hard on family and friends but they might not understand unless they are in the position. With some patients, the decision of their life may be in the hands of their closest family members.


Carstensen, L.L., Isaacowitz, D.M., & Charles, S.T. (1999). Taking time seriously: A theory of socioemotional selectivity theory. American Psychologist, 54, 165-181

Fingerman, K. (2003). Mothers and their adult daughter: Mixed emotions, enduring bonds. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.

Timmermann, S. (2011). Aging Gracefully: Are We Up to the Challenge? Journal of Financial Service Professionals, 32-34.

Craik, F.I.M., Luo, L. And Sakuta, Y. (2010) Effects of Aging and Divided Attention on Memory for Items and Their Contexts. Journal of Psychology and Aging, 25 (4), 968-979.

Carteret, M. (2011). Cultural Aspects of Death and Dying. Retrieved Sept 5, 2012, from Dimensions of Culture:

Jussim, Daniel. Euthanasia: The "Right To Die" issue. Hillside, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 1993. Print.

"Euthanasia Suicide Mercy-Killing Right-To-Die Physician-Assisted Suicide Living Wills Research ."…… [read more]

Mechanisms of Interspecies Senescence Research Paper

… In addition, most metazoan somatic cells appear to retain the capacity to reset to a pluripotential state, although there are some exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include cells exposed to significant levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In fact, cellular senescence, and thus aging, was believed to be the result of primarily the accumulation of DNA damage due to reactive oxygen species (for example see: Metcalfe and Alonso-Alvarez, 2010). However, the ability of somatic cells to become rejuvenated after transfer to an oocyte suggests this theory is flawed (Rando and Chang, 2012, p. 51-52).

Recent research efforts have provided additional support for the theory that epigenetics determines aging and cellular senescence. Gene products that are involved in establishing a repressive chromatin structure, or silenced state, have been linked in a positive manner with longer life spans in C. elegans and D. melanogaster (Rando and Chang, 2012, p. 52). The association between gene products controlling chromatin silencing has been supported by experiments in mice. Due to the highly conserved nature of the chromatin silencing machinery, the same genes are expected to be associated with human longevity as well.

Young cells would therefore be defined as containing genomic material that is being actively maintained in a generally silenced state through promotion of histone H3 lysine 27 methylation and histone deacetylation (Rando and Chang, 2012, p. 52-53). Accordingly, the Polycomb group repressors and sirtuins (deacetylases) are found to be associated with the chromatin in young cells. In contrast, old cells can be discriminated young ones by the accumulation of DNA damage, the loss of associated sirtuins, and the replacement of Polycomb group proteins by those from the trithorax group. The trithorax group expresses proteins that function to trimethylate histone H3 at lysine 4, a marker for gene activation. The overall effect of this transition from a young chromatin state to an aged one, and the loss of robust silencing machinery, is an increase in transcriptional noise being generated.

In summary, senescence appears to be a regulated process responsive to the cellular and nuclear machinery that controls chromatin structure. This theory is supported by cloning experiments that rely on somatic nuclear transfer and the improbable immortality of Hydra species. Although oxidative damage remains a popular explanation for the aging process, unless the damage cannot be overcome by the cellular repair machinery, it appears unlikely that it will directly influence aging unless it damages genes involved in maintaining a silenced chromatin state.

Works Cited

Bosch, Thomas C.G. (2009). Hydra and the Evolution of Stem Cells. Bioessays, 31, 478-486.

Metcalfe, Neil B. And Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos. (2010). Oxidative stress as a life-history constraint: The role of oxygen species in shaping phenotypes from conception to death. Functional Ecology, 24, 984-996.…… [read more]

Meaning of Aging Essay

… ¶ … Aging

As the world evolves, concepts of humanity and health are also fluid and changing. The same is true for the concept of age. With the many changes in medical science today, people are living longer than ever before, particularly in countries where resources and access to medical facilities are unrestricted. The resulting change in the social dynamic is that people live longer and remain healthier and more active for longer. As a result, they way in which age is portrayed in the media, as well as elder care, work and retirement, and public policy have significantly changed over the last half a century or so.

There has been a significant change in media portrayals of age. Even in the recent past, main characters in films and television shows have been young and good looking, and the subject matter has generally concerned the lives and concerns faced by the younger age groups. In television, the sitcom popularly portrayed young parents with children in the home, for example. If older people made part of this fare, it was generally as comic relief rather than a serious or even authentic portrayal of the challenges faced at this stage of life. In film, the young adventurer or romantic was the subject matter most popularly portrayed.

Increasingly, however, this norm has changed to portray the older adult at the later stages of life and how this stage can be both challenging and rewarding. While many portrayals of the elderly remain as images of frailty, there have been an increasing portrayal of older people as capable and facing life with courage while interacting with others in an effective way. One good example of an actress who has effectively discarded all norms of old age is Judi Dench. Her career, even and especially in older age, has included roles as diverse as that of an old woman who started a new romance to an ethereal spirit being to a powerful leadership type in the recent James Bond films. Indeed, Dame Dench's career could be regarded as the epitome of the changes that have been seen in the general views of age and the aging process. She proves that graceful and energetic aging is possible. This has also been proven by other older women in prominent positions such as politics. Margaret Thatcher and the Queen are examples who come readily to mind, with Meryl Streep being another actress whose talent has been honed by time in such a way that she is now one of the most prominent female figures of the silver screen.

The way in which the media portrays the older generation has an influence on the general conception of age and aging in society today. The horror of the inevitable physical decline of old age has been gradually replaced by a sense that old age means wisdom, freedom, and a body that will be strong enough to still enjoy these things. This is clear in the way many older people are enjoying… [read more]

Aging in the U.S. Culture Today Research Paper

… aging U.S. culture

Aging in U.S. Culture

The process of aging is an inherently difficult one. The natural decline of one's physical abilities, one's social independence and one's mental faculties is likely to converge with the transition to retirement, the loss of aging friends and the death of a spouse. Such dramatic and life-changing events are likely to carry extremely challenging emotional and psychological implications for those advancing in years. These events are only compounded by the cultural emphasis on youth that drives the American identity. Perhaps by virtue of our nation's relatively young age or by virtue of our particular mythologies about homesteading, pioneerism, athleticism and virility, we share a cultural tendency to place tragically little value on the elderly. Thus, in addition to the changes and challenges natural to aging anywhere, aging in the United States is often intensified by the sense of having been discarded by society.

Culturally Relative Definition of 'Old':

In the United States, the state of being 'old' is not confined to a specific age but is a characteristic description of the individual who is perceived to have reached a point of diminishing socioeconomic value. The individual will demonstrate the physical impairment, diminished clarity and reduced coherency often associated with the decline of age. And on this point, it is pertinent to distinguish that one must not necessarily have reached an advanced state of decline in order to appear and therefore in order to be perceived by others as being old. The text by Free (2002) denotes that this is a perception of aging that is held as commonplace not just in the U.S. But also in other industrialized societies. Free indicates that "albeit old people in most traditional societies are subject to the same age-related variation in physical changes, they are typically accorded social respect and honor, as well as a significant degree of power and control within their societies. This view of elders in traditional societies is true for both women and men. Conversely, in industrial societies, old age is not generally a revered status and elders may not always be honored within their families or among their friends and other associates, as well as in society at large." (p. 74)

Free argues that the cultural distinctions from one nation to the next regarding the perceptions of the elderly are significantly dependent upon the way that value is placed upon individuals on the whole. In the industrialized society, value is generally perceived…… [read more]

Death Rite or Ritual Essay

… Egyptian Death Rituals

Ancient Egyptian death and burial rituals have been among the most elaborate in history. Even today, having uncovered many of the mysteries behind the rituals and mummification process, scholars cannot claim to know everything about the reasons… [read more]

Aging and Periodontium Term Paper

… As a result, he or she would make alterations, which Dutour (2007) wrote, "changing diet leads to inadequate food intake and may induce a specific nutrient deficiency. Chewing less may also result in a lower nutrient bioavailability and an impaired nutritional status."

Medically, the deficiency in masticatory abilities impacts elderly people by increasing the risk of mortality. Nakanishi and his team led a study who noted, those who were seventy-five years and older had a significant risk linking the aforementioned conditions. In the Gilmore study, he noted the incidence of inflammation with elder animals found in the connective tissue at the sulcus due to irritation from the food debris. The inflammation in the gingiva led to the formation of pockets on the periodontium in old animals, and the irritation spread to the root surface. As well, "the cementum adjacent to the epithelium and for a considerable distance apical to it was thinned and often absent. The tooth surface was eroded and in some instances, the erosion extended into the dentin." As one ages, he or she may experience more exposure and risk to periodontal diseases, for example gum disease. The American Academy of Periodontology posted 50% of those who were not institutionalized and over the age of fifty-five years old have periodontitis. As well, one out of four people ages sixty-five and older do not have teeth. The majority of elders are affected by receding gum tissue, and most of tooth loss is due to periodontal disease and tooth decay. In a study led by Grossi to assess the risk of periodontal disease, age was the most significant fact that had the most influence with "odds ratios for subjects 35 to 44 years old ranging from 1.72 to 9.01 for subjects 65 to 74 years old."

Nobody said the aging process was easy but some do say it's a privilege to progress onward in life. A significant factor that influences the quality of life for an individual is the impact aging does to the periodontium either physically, functionally, nutritionally or medically. Physically, the parts of the periodontium begin to thin, lose flexibility, reduction in bone density, and increase in width and thickness. Functionally, because of all the physical changes, it slows down the mastication activity in elder people while requiring them to chew more to break down food particles. However, people with denture are unable to chew as well and may risk being malnourished, which is the nutritional impact of aging and one's ability to bite. Medically, old people are more prone to periodontal disease, like gingivitis and gum disease, which would then impact on their ability to masticate, and may experience certain diseases like gastrointestinal disorders when food isn't properly digested. Overall, the parts of the periodontium impact an individual's welfare in various aspects of his or her life, from diminishment to motor ability.


Gilmore, N., & Glickman, I. (1959). Some Age Changes in the Periodontium of the Albino Mouse . Journal of Dental Research, 38, 1195-1206.

Grossi,… [read more]

Coping With Aging Book Review

… Coping With Ageing

It is a fact of life that everybody grows old, with all the drawbacks and difficulties that this could entail. Disease, frailty, and ultimate death is in all our futures as human beings. For these reasons, the… [read more]

Dying on Death and Dying: A Review Term Paper

… Dying

On Death and Dying: A Review of Historical Perspectives and Implications for Modern Society

All living creatures must eventually die; this is one of the simple facts of life and one of the ways in which life and living… [read more]

Aging Veteran Re-Emergence of Trauma Issues Essay

… Aging Veteran

Carl Jung and dream interpretation

Re-Emergence of Trauma Issues

The Aging Veteran: Re-Emergence of Trauma Issues

Exposure to trauma can have a significant and lasting impact on the lives of all persons. Each individual is affected by trauma in different ways. The level of trauma that a military professional can be exposed to, particularly during times of combat, far surpass what is experienced in day-to-day life. The manifestation of this trauma can present itself quite differently based on the individual stressors, internal and external, experienced by the veteran. Some veterans encounter immediate symptoms after being exposed to the death and suffering of a war, while others may not manifest symptoms for years to come (Sherwood et al., 2003). The incidence of trauma symptomology of veterans exposed to combat situations is quite high. These symptoms may include recurrent flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, and instability of moods (Sherwood et al., 2003).

Veterans have experienced events in combat that they may believe are incomprehensible to civilians or helping professionals. For a veteran admitting that they are experiencing psychological symptoms may fundamentally go against the image that they have created of the strong and courageous soldier (Sherwood et al., 2003). They may also experience feelings of shame or guilt over others who have lost their lives or acts that they have taken part in and may worry that others will not understand them (Sherwood et al., 2003).

The aging process forces individuals to evaluate their lives and naturally involves developmental stressors. As one transitions to older adulthood, the likelihood that they have experienced a significant loss increases (Sherwood et al., 2003). As these incidents increase so do feelings of loss and despair. These emotions may trigger an older veteran who may already be mourning their losses, examining the role that experiences have had on their life choices, and attempting to accept who they have been and who they are in the present (Sherwood et al., 2003).

Professionals in the social work field need to have at a minimum a working knowledge of the impact that…… [read more]

Socioeconomic Effects on Aging and Policy Annotated Bibliography

… Socioeconomic Effects on Aging and Policy

The study of the various socioeconomic effects on the aging and the policy geared towards this group of the population, involves a number of different variables. This is because the total number of senior… [read more]

Death and Grieving Research Paper

… Death and Grieving

Views of death and dying: In the U.S.A. And in a cross-cultural comparison

According to the Centers for Disease control, the top three causes of death in the U.S.A. are heart disease (631,636 per year), cancer (559,888), and cerebrovascular diseases or strokes (137,119). While not all of these cases are preventable, it is clear that many people are not taking basic precautions to at least minimize their risks for these ailments, by maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and exercising. Many of these illnesses are also chronic and long-standing in their duration: the difficulty of dealing with someone who is chronically ill can make the process of grieving even more difficult: the anger and resentment of caring for someone who requires constant attention (especially if the illness was preventable) and the guilt of having to entrust that care to others (such as in a hospital, nursing home, or at a hospice) can tear a family apart even before a loved one passes. Of course, witnessing a loved one's sudden death and the inability to say 'good-bye' has its own stresses.

Different models have been proposed to deal with grief. One of the most popular is Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' Five Stages of Grief progression, which states that grieving unfolds through steps of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and final acceptance. However, this progression is not necessarily culturally universal, and the feelings of denial ('this can't be happening to me') and anger could be viewed as a product of American culture, and its inability to openly and honestly deal with death. Kubler -Ross wrote: "the way that a society or subculture explains death will have a significant impact on the way its members view and experience life" (Kubler -Ross 1975, p. 27). Conversely, America's prioritization of the values choice, autonomy, and individualization has impacted its view of death, despite the fact that death is an inevitable process over which there is often little control.

It is important not to judge the intensity of a person's grief based upon their apparent reactions to death, especially if that person comes from a different culture: "Researchers have found greater outward expression of grief and more physiologic reactions among Mexican-American college students compared to Anglo college students and greater grief intensity among Latinos from Puerto Rico who experienced a sudden unexpected death than other Latinos and Anglos…[However, there were no] differences in bereavement for White, Black, and Hispanic adult children whose…… [read more]

Social Gerontology Term Paper

… ¶ … successful aging. What do you think are its positive and negative features?

Generally, contemporary gerontologists and psychologists consider "successful aging" to be acceptance of the practical limitations of the many social, physical, and other consequences of advancing age… [read more]

Near Death Experiences Thesis

… Near-Death Experiences -- Real or Imagined?

The much-discussed near-death experience is not one of the world's great mysteries on a par with the Abominable Snowman or flying saucers. But since so many people claim to have had these occurrences, it… [read more]

Aging With a Billion Baby Boomers World Thesis

… ¶ … Aging

With a billion baby boomers world wide coming of age between now and during the next decade, aging and those issues that impact aging in a healthy way are receiving a lot of attention. The goal is for people to age in as healthy a way as possible, because the alternative would create a substantial strain on already weak healthcare delivery systems. In 2006, USA Today published an article on aging gracefully (1). The article examined aging, from the perspective of health span vs. life span, and in the discussion is revealed the debate over funding for research on issues associated with aging (1). Research designed to answer questions about aging does not rank high on the list of items that the public wants to lend their support to, and funding to create programs to assist the elderly and to resolve issues that elderly citizens face is even less popular. These are some of the reasons that there is a lack of interest in the aging process as it goes beyond the subjects of botox and cosmetic surgery. It is what Mike Hepworth (1995) refers to as the obvious (p. 5). In other words, for most people, aging is obvious, it is about getting old, and most people, younger people, either don't understand that there is much more to aging and the aging processes, or they do not want to discuss it.

This essay looks at aging and the issues that surround it. We'll look at the social issues, but the physical, neurological, and mental issues too. The broader the range of issues discussed, the greater the individual reader's breadth of understanding, and that it is something we will all experience. There is, therefore, good reason and need to become educated about aging and the aging processes that are not just outwardly obvious.

The Human Factors

As we grow from infants, through young childhood, adolescence, and into and throughout adulthood, we discover things about ourselves as human beings. We discover that we have mental, physical, and nutritional needs in order to enjoy fully a healthy and happy life as an individual, and as a son or daughter, parent, and, finally, as a grandparent. The question, however, that remains to be asked is: What is old? It is a question that social researcher Priscilla Ebersole (1998) asks in her book, Toward Healthy Aging: Human Needs and Nursing Response. Old, says Ebersole, is where the biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual essences of humanity come together in a unitary being (p. 2). It is probably at that point that is recognized not just as outwardly aging, but inwardly aging, too, that is for the first time in our lives when each of these crossroads mentioned by Ebersole comes together, even if briefly, and, if we have aged in a healthy way, we experience a complete awareness of the world around, ourselves as individuals, and, through our spirituality, that which will transcend the bodily experience. Regardless of education, it is a… [read more]

Technology and Death Policy: Redefining Term Paper

… ¶ … Technology and death policy: redefining death.

The article has explained the policy issues based upon the nature of death which includes the discussion of the physician-assisted suicide as well as treatment abatement. Such practices have received wide criticism… [read more]

Developmental Aging Through the Cognitive Process Term Paper

… Developmental Aging Through the Cognitive Process

Aging is defined by the Merck Manual of Geriatrics as "a process of gradual and spontaneous change resulting in maturation through childhood, puberty, and young adulthood and then decline through middle and late age."… [read more]

Aging Population and Its Effects on Society Research Paper

… ¶ … growing aging population in the U.S.

While it was previously regarded as one of the most important things ever, life expectancy has come to have a negative effect on the social order. Birth-rates in many countries from around… [read more]

Death and Sustainable Happiness Annotated Bibliography

… Death and Sustainable Happiness

In primitive cultures, the process of death and dying was reverential. It was expected that, at some point, one's body would simply tire and one's soul ascend back to nature, or to a specific spiritual place depending on innate cultural beliefs. As humans congregated into urban areas, death was around them constantly; through pestilence, disease, starvation, and the inhumanity of humans toward each other, death became an everyday occurrence, almost numbing the individual towards the overall paradigm. And how is it contemporary America treats its aged citizens and those who are ill and ready for death? Typically, "as a person with no right to an opinion" (Kubler-Ross 141). In fact, we are more comfortable institutionalizing those who are dying, paying lip-service to their care, but really wishing their issues, their needs, and indeed the process, would simply disappear from our self-imposed sense of reality. Too, rather than allowing one to die with dignity, on their own terms, we legislate the morality of life and death decisions -- preferring that our elderly remain vegetative, on life-support, all dignity of personal decisions and private matters torn away, simply so we can justify that we did "everything possible to keep our loved one alive" (Messerli, 2007).

Rationale - Grief is a part of being human, everyone experiences transformation in many ways; active, passive, pushing and shoving, begrudgingly, etc. Loss and grief, rather than being a tragedy of living, and be an opportunity for transformation and personal growth. In general, grief can help us from seeing ourselves as the center of the universe and seeing the universe as the center of who we are. Grief and loss as are transformation -- as a process to move through. Kubler-Ross, one of…… [read more]

Death of Ivan Ilyich Essay

… Death of Ivan Ilych

Sum up the reactions of Ivan Ilych's colleagues to the news of his death. What is implied in Tolstoy's calling them "so-called friends"?

Ivan's colleagues are "so-called friends" because unlike true friends they have no real… [read more]

Nursing Foundations of Community Health Essay

… Healthy Aging

For some time, demographers have expressed concern that the first part of the 21st century would face a number of potential challenges due to an aging population. A number of methods to reduce the effects of time are… [read more]

Brain-Death Arguments Upon Brain-Death Technology Term Paper

… The magnetic imaging of the patients of brain-death shows a clear-cut 'hollow-skull sign', which is a clear indication of permanent loss of functions (MSPC 1995, Perry 2011).

Neo-cortical or Higher-Brain Death

Another important part of the brain is the cortex… [read more]

Death and Dying Human Life Term Paper

… Even three years later, Nicholas had not recovered from this experience. He was still riddled with extreme sadness and ignored grief, guilt and feelings of abandonment. It was extremely painful to see him still in the grips of such agony. Eventually, Nicholas told me that while he cared for me a tremendous amount (which I believed); he couldn't handle a romantic relationship at that time, which was true. I realized Nicholas was making the right decision, but I was tremendously heartbroken and missed him terribly. The entire experience clearly demonstrated for me how suicide truly can wage further collateral damage on a wide range of lives. Just as a given individual in life is not aware of how many lives they touch, in death, particularly suicide -- an action which is so destructive, unfathomable and hurtful to so many people -- a person who commits suicide can touch the lives of people he never even met before. In my case, I felt I was being hurt by the selfish actions of a man I had never even met before. The most heartbreaking aspect of this story is that if Nicholas's friend had gotten the help he needed, it might have had a completely different ending. As Nuland says, "I have more than once seen a suicidal old person emerge from depression, and rediscovered thereby a vibrant friend. When such men or women return to a less despondent vision of reality, their loneliness seems to them less stark and their pain more bearable because life has become more interesting again and they realize there are people who need them" (152).

While suicide of a beloved friend or family member is one of the saddest tragedies another human being may have to live through, euthanasia is still something that I feel strongly that all human beings have a right to. For example, the film "The Sea Inside" shows very aptly the callousness of denying an individual this absolute right, and how forcing someone to prolong their life, in spite of their tremendous suffering and hardship, is simply wrong and a violation of ethical and moral codes. Just as a human being has the right to live as he or she sees fit, each human being absolutely has the right to die. As one doctor in favor of euthanasia posits, "The important question is how that person's life ends. If someone can choose euthanasia, they don't have to think about the worry and the suffering only. They can also focus on the things they really want to do, like a taking a last trip, or making up a fight with someone in the family, or saying goodbye. The pressure on that person becomes lighter when they know they won't have to go on suffering. Often, people who have chosen euthanasia have such peace of mind that they die naturally anyway"(Kimsma). People should be able to embrace self-empowerment as much as humanly possible. At the end of one's life, one should not be victimized… [read more]

Old Age and Its Issues Essay

… Old Age and Related Issues

Unlike other forms of disability or infirmity, old age is something that will affect all human beings, unless they die before reaching a high number of years. It is therefore vital to think carefully about issues that affect older people today, since these are issues that will affect us when we grow older ourselves. Many of these issues are of a practical nature, regarding what sort of care we will prefer when we become too old to care for ourselves. However, what is especially important to consider is the fact that many of these issues also have a moral or ethical component. Age-related factors that might include a moral component include issues such as the anti-aging agenda, the way in which old age care is given and received, and elder abuse.

The anti-aging agenda involves medications and developments that focus on relieving or removing the symptoms of old age, effectively prolonging life and creating an increasingly aging society. Proponents of this agenda name advantages such as relieving suffering, promoting health, and serving economic efficiency (Holstein, Parks, and Waymack, 2011, p. 94). Although these are in themselves laudible goals in terms of serving humanity, the ethical difficulties by extending life artificially are undeniable.

Many take the religious argument, for example, that extending life by means of medical science is like "playing God." This argument is, however, difficult in the light of even generally accepted medical practice. Even something as simple as a cold and flu remedy can constitute the artificial extension of life, since this remedy is meant to promote health and, ultimately, the prevention of flu becoming something more serious such as pneumonia or other types of lung infection, which could result in death.

Yet, anti-aging technology and medicine seem to be an agenda that is so extreme that it interferes with the natural and even God-given premises of life itself. Hence there is a basic moral dichotomy between whether to allow the use of anti-aging technology in the service of humanity or to simply let "God" play his role, or indeed to let life take its natural course.

There is also a socially ethical argument from both perspectives. Anti-aging technology allows for older persons to function effectively for longer. As such, these people can contribute to the economy for a longer time. However, this could create practical difficulties at workplaces where there is a forced retirement age. These workplaces function under the obligation to find young workers for the development of innovative ideas, where older workers may no longer be able to supply these in a practical sense. Older workers who are forced to retire, however, then becomes a burden on the economy in terms of health care, pension, and other forms of social aid, rather than continuing their contribution to it. This, in turn, could lead to further challenges such as agism.

The giving and receiving of care in old age is an ethical and moral concern that relates to the ability of… [read more]

Aging and Health Technologies Theoretical Term Paper

… In general, the researchers found that people were receptive to the concept of healthcare technology, as long as it continues to provide them with a sense of control and empowerment. The elderly want to retain control over their lives and… [read more]

Meta Theories Essay

… Meta-Theories and Aging


A meta-theory is a theory which has another theory as its subject matter. In simpler terms, it is a theory about another theory. In a more scholarly definition, a meta-theory is a complex set of rules,… [read more]

Successful Aging Research Paper

… Individual Perceptions of Successful Aging

Half of the babies born in the United States today will live to see their 100th year, and many of their cohorts will also live longer lives compared to recent generations. As people grow older and experience the benefits of accumulated wisdom together with the ravages of age-related infirmities and illnesses, definitions of successful aging will undoubtedly experience some fundamental changes. Therefore, examining these issues in the broader social context represents a timely and worthwhile enterprise. To this end, five primary societal and/or individual differences that can contribute to different perspectives of successful aging are discussed below to identify how people personally define the concept of successful aging, to determine whether this personal definition differs from the broader society's viewpoint, and how this personal definition relates to the concept of "quality of life." Finally, an examination concerning the manner in which an individual's cohorts and cultural identity affect the perception of both of these concepts is followed by a discussion concerning the potential effect of these forces on definitions of successful aging in the future.


Five primary societal and/or individual difference (e.g. lifestyle) factors that contribute to perceptions of success aging.

While it is reasonable to suggest that definitions of success vary significantly from individual to individual, with these definitions ranging the entire spectrum of the human condition. Despite these differences, it is also reasonable to suggest that five primary societal and/or individual difference factors that contribute to successful aging include the following which resemble Maslow's hierarchy of needs, but which are also specifically elderly related:

1. Money. Money may not buy happiness, but it does buy better healthcare and more nutritional food, superior shelter and other factors that contribute to longer lives that are more comfortable than life without money. Without sufficient monetary resources, people become reliant on social systems that are already bursting at the seams, and state and federal budgets are being stretched to their limits in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

2. Active Sex Life. Just because people grow older does not mean that their libidos must vanish or even be diminished. Intimate relationships with significant others during an otherwise lonely period in life can represent the foundation of an individual definition of successful aging. This is not the same thing, of course,…… [read more]

Death Is a Very Sensitive Topic Essay

… Death is a very sensitive topic in our society. It is a topic which we do not understand much about. Even so, there are certain conventions which govern our reactions to death in front of others. One is expected to be sufficiently solemn, reflective, and tender. Furthermore, one is expected to focus on the deceased person, not on the phenomenon of death itself.

The essays by Bentley and Churchon are valuable because they contain reactions to death which are not expressed in front of others. Thus, the reactions are less bound by convention. This makes their reactions more honest and, admittedly, more disturbing. Disturbing, though, is precisely the way most people perceive death, so the effect is quite appropriate here.

What is a Life Anyways?

Thesis: How one will react to death depends largely on what one understands "life" to be. Bentley and Churchon take two very different approaches to death in their essays. These views are informed by their respective understandings of what a "life" is. For Bentely, a "life" is a social phenomenon, whereas, for Churchon, it is primarily a biological phenomenon


Bentley views a life as a social phenomenon. Be it a human life or an animal life, the significance and the meaning of one's existence is determined primarily by one's social ties and interactions. She describes the bad lion as being "…with his brother and three females: a mother and her two grown daughters. The mother had no tail. She had lost it along with two of her four cubs in a hyena attack four years ago. The two remaining cubs are the grown daughters with her now." (Bentley, 2009, p. 3). Although safaris are intended to demonstrate the exotic beauty of nature, all Bentley could see was the tragic life story of the lion.

For Bentley, the murdered lioness was significant because she was an elder lioness of a pride, the mother of an alpha male, and the victim of a scorned outsider to the tribe. She characterized the lioness as heroic because she "…separated herself from her pride…to divert Satan and his brother from them, her family as it were. The females in a lion pride are related: mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts." (Bentley, 2009, p. 4). For Bentley, the significance of one's life is contained almost exclusively in one's "life story." Because death precludes further social interactions and severs all social ties, Bentley naturally views death as tragic and regretful.

Bentley's view of life causes her to perceive the actions of the lions through the lens of human sociology. She is particularly disturbed by the gruesome murder of a female lion by a particularly violent male lion, nicknamed "Satan." Bentley attributes a higher degree of conscious volition to the actions of the lions than is commonly recognized. She describes Satan's repeated murders of sexually uncooperative lionesses as "…deviant, the need to dominate gone awry, even for a lion." She concludes that Satan is a "…serial rapist, necrophiliac, (and a) killer," terms that are… [read more]

Death I Do Not Believe Reaction Paper

… ¶ … Death

I do not believe that I was ever aware that there were certain criteria for death. To my mind, death meant when all function in the brain and heart stopped. Because death is such a common occurrence, affecting all living things, the fact that there are criteria to ensure its nature is a little bizarre to me. However, when considering issues like the soul and the life that exists in individual cells, death becomes much more arbitrary than the simple end of a heartbeat or brain function. Furthermore, these considerations have not even given thought to spiritual aspect of living and dying. Physical death, to many, does not mean the end of life or awareness. For many, physical death means a transition into another type of life, where the soul survives. Furthermore, when considering the heartbreaking realities of those who have succumbed to accidents or illness to such an extent that machines mean the difference between any type of life and death for them, it is perhaps not so strange to require definitions of death, such as found in the chapter assigned as the reading for this reflection.

When reading the explanation of the need for guidance when it comes to physical death, I came to a closer understanding of the various meanings even of physical death. I am a little surprised that there are only five criteria to determine the status of a person regarding life or death. However, the specific criteria do make sense to me. Indeed, when there is no breathing, no demonstrable awareness or reflex, a person could indeed be said to be dead.

I do believe that the addition of EEG criteria, in terms of the final two criteria, is an important element in determining the nature of what has become known as "brain death." Indeed, these criteria make it easier to determine the potential ethical pitfalls of removing organs while the heart is stimulated to ensure that the organs remain…… [read more]

Psychology of Aging of Whole Research Paper

… Aging on the other hand is about living, the changes experienced during the course of ones life and the relationship on the interdependency among different generations throughout life.

Theories about age finally have a focus on late life, which describe… [read more]

Older Adult Abuse and Neglect Term Paper

… Elder Abuse and Neglect

The Varying Byproduct and Impact of Abuse

This paper explores the various impacts and influences aging and neglect has on elder individuals. Literature review and studies conducted and led by researchers have revealed the psychological, physical,… [read more]

Self-Assessment on Death Essay

… Self-Assessment on Death

We are all, from the moment of our birth, proceeding to the same final endpoint -- death. But while we know how life is created, what occurs at the end of life remains a mystery. Even after studying death from an analytical perspective, despite becoming more fluent in the various ways different philosophical traditions and cultures have interpreted death, I still fear the end of my natural existence. No matter how complete and apparently neat the explanation is of the life to come, it still does not satisfy me, because I feel that all attempts to answer the question of what occurs at the end of life are engineered by humans, and do not approach the truth of what is likely to transpire after all consciousness has ceased to exist.

When a child is born, as terrifying and exciting as that may be, the parents have some idea of what that child will face in the future -- the joy of learning; first attempts at walking and talking; first love; maturity, and the achievement of other major life milestones. When someone holds the hand of a loved one in death, there is always a sense of loss and fear of the unknown. Perhaps logically, we as humans should comfort ourselves that we will all meet in the same final resting place. But because the nature of what that resting place will resemble is so unclear, even the faithful often find themselves paralyzed by grief.

"Do not go gentle into that good night / Rage, rage against the dying of the light." My sentiments regarding death are very much in line with those of Dylan Thomas' poem "Do not go gentle into that good night." Thomas' poem is brutally honest, as the poet begs his father to resist the death that Thomas knows that will come. Thomas finds beauty even in the futility of resisting the forces that take away breath, movement, and the spark that makes a human being an individual in the eyes of the living world.

Although there may be a soul, because we cannot touch, taste, smell, see, or apprehend it with our senses, the instinct to rage --…… [read more]

Death "Somebody Should Tell Us, Right Essay

… Death

"Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows." - Pope Paul VI, Italian pope, 1897-1978 ("Quotes")

There is only one thing that is certain in life -- death. It is both the most common event in life and the most mysterious. Religions often not only center on the living, but also life after death. However, despite it happening all around us, death is also one the scariest things. This is primarily because of the unknown. Even though I, like many other people, believe in some form of life after death, there is still some small amount of uncertainty. There is some tiny worry that Heaven, reincarnation, and the soul are all just inventions of Man, to make us feel more secure, much like ancient cultures created a variety of rituals to help feel like they were in control of the sun rising or the seasons changing.

Even science puts niggling doubts in our minds about life after death. The white light some report seeing just before death, that has traditionally been related to an entrance to the realm after death, may be a burst of brain activity. This surge of electrical energy happens as the brain runs out of oxygen, due to the decrease in blood flow ("White Light"). Could the spiritual experience related by those who have had a near-death experience simply be a physiological response to the brain making one last grasp at life? These questions are not only the cause for some anxiety concerning death, but they also reinforce the importance of life for me.

I suppose if we were all 100% certain that there was some form of life after death, we may live our lives differently. Perhaps we wouldn't be as worried about death, as it would simply be like going on to the next adventure, for us. We, as a society, would likely be more reckless in our actions, knowing that if the worst were to happen, we would just be moving on. We would also likely more conscientious of our actions here on Earth. Although most people have their actions tempered by some sort…… [read more]

Death of Ivan Ilyich Essay

… Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

To many, death is but an afterthought to the conversation of life. And even then, such a thought is fleeting all the same. Because why think about dying when one is busy living… [read more]

Jack Kevorkian Essay

… ¶ … life of Jack Kevorkian. Jack Kevorkian, dubbed "Dr. Death" by the press, is a famous Michigan physician who is a champion of Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS). He claims to have personally assisted in the suicide deaths of 130 terminally… [read more]

Death and Dying Thesis

… Death and Dying

Death is indeed a universal human experience. Several beliefs and rituals or practices are associated with dying and/or death (faxed material, date, p. 390). But is it not the case that many of us shun the idea of dying? It is in this regard that I believe a thoughtful reflection on death and dying practices is worth undertaking.

My personal cultural belief on dying is resounded in the work of author of faxed material (date). Dying alone is an idea not adapted by our cultural standards because our culture values solidarity in the family, especially in the times of tragedy. Here, I see death and dying as a social cohesive force which bounds people together. Death serves as a tool for reinforcing social bonds among families and other social support systems. The "reunited" family during death, on the other hand, serves a particular purpose on every family member, i.e. It gives him/her a sense of belongingness and group identification. his/her sense of family is consequently defined and strengthened.

We would also rather that health professionals do not…… [read more]

Dysphagia in the Elderly Research Proposal

… Dysphagia in the Elderly

The work of Michael R. Spieker (2000) entitled: "Evaluating Dysphagia" published in the journal of the 'American Family Physician' states that dysphagia is a problem "that commonly affects patients cared for by family physicians in the… [read more]

ROS and Free Radicals Term Paper

… Reactive Oxygen Species and Free Radicals

Aging is a conjectured process of deterioration, which occurs after reproductive maturity (Held 2002). It comes as a result of various processes and interactions, such as reactive oxygen species and glycosylation. It differs from… [read more]

Aging and Advertising Image in Today's Modern Term Paper

… Aging and Advertising Image

In today's modern world, there are several products on the market designed to target aging populations. Skin creams, anti-aging pills, vitamins, hair regeneration lotions, and many other products imply that to look younger is to feel younger, and to feel younger is only possible through the use of medications designed to increase hormones, increase vital anti-aging chemicals in the body, and decrease fine lines and wrinkles.

These products, designed to promote self-esteem and confidence through a look of youth, neglect the important fact, however, that age is not simply a visual concept, but a physiological fact of life.

Relastin Skin Revitalizer ™ is one such anti-aging product currently on the market. An anti-aging cream, Relastin Skin Revitalizer ™ claims to increase the elastin of the skin, thereby reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

The company describes elastin as "a protein in connective tissue that is elastic and allows tissue to return to its original state." The product also claims to increase the appearance of firmness, make skin appear smoother, and enhance the appearance of skin ("Relastin™," 2006).

The advertising for Relastin Skin Revitalizer ™ uses a variety of methods to target older audiences whose skin may be suffering from such fine lines and wrinkles. First, the simple title of the product suggests a more youthful skin appearance in relation to the product ("Relastin™," 2006). In using the phrase 'Revitalizer,' advertisers capture the concept of the older audience's wish to revive the skin of their formative years, when their bodies, minds, and spirits were not aged.

Secondly, various phrases throughout the advertisement portray the concept of beauty in youth, which again targets an older audience. By using such words as 'smooth', 'tighter', 'more radiant', and 'natural beauty', the wording of the ad is aimed at promoting the concept of youth and vitality as a means for self-esteem and attraction ("Relastin™," 2006). For those who may suffer from even the finest lines, such concepts certainly create a desire to achieve a younger self.

A third method used to target older audiences is the references to signs of aging. Again, specific phrasing is used to target those who may see signs of aging as unattractive or ugly. By stressing phrases such as 'fine lines,' 'wrinkles,' and 'sagging,' the advertisement promotes the concept that such features make one less attractive ("Relastin™," 2006). This method makes the assumption most individuals with such features see them as negative signs of aging, and that one's self-image is harmed by such appearances.

Finally, the advertisement promises results, which is vital in the selling of self-image concepts. For many who would purchase such a product, a promise of a younger appearance is the strongest point to the advertisement. Relastin Skin Revitalizer ™ promises smoother and firmer skin through an increase in elastin, and this promise is reiterated with results of 'clinical studies' ("Relastin™," 2006). While no reference is made to sample sizes, control factors, or other basic research methodology, the advertisement claims the product… [read more]

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