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Disengagement Theory Essay

This is when a person, usually an older person, withdraws from involvement or when someone’s relationships with other people slowly cut off or change. Older people may withdraw from involvement when they feel they are limited to try and interact with other people. It has been proved that a lot of older people were more involved with life when they were younger however some people disagree and feel there are a large number of people who do not withdraw from society. For example when they retire they may lose contact with a lot of their colleagues or if they or their friends/family have impairments such as hearing or visual impairments it could make it more difficult to interact with each other. Technology may also restrict older people as they may not have internet or phones to be able to interact with their friends and family. Activity Theory

This theory highlights the importance of on-going social activity and believes older people should be encouraged to stay involved whilst suggesting that people will be more satisfied with their lives if they remain active as well as ensuring friendships and relationships are intact by interacting with others just the same. It also suggests that someone who remains an active member of society will increase their health and wellbeing and that own-age friendships should be developed. The only criticism of this theory is that some people are more than happy as they are and want to live alone not to mention the fact that not everyone is able to be as active as they would like.

As you can see, these theories are completely different in comparison to one and other. One suggests as you get older you will withdraw from society and become unhappy whereas the other suggests you can stay happy and active if you want to and that you just need to remain in contact with different roles in society. If you follow the disengagement theory you are more likely to end up unhappy or lonely as your mental and even physical health may go on to deteriorate through lack of activity or interaction with the outside world and friends or family. On the other hand the activity theory promotes positivity by encouraging the elderly to communicate and interact with others no matter what their situation. This theory suggests that the more active you are in society, the less chance you have of developing mental health problems such as dementia and that there is a higher chance of prolonging your life and staying healthy. This is because the more you interact with people, the less time you will have on your own feeling lonely or depressed as your mind will be busy with positive and happy thoughts instead.

There are many different factors that influence ageing and each factor may have a different effect on how the person may age. The main factors would be the personal level of exercise and nutrition in life, health care and education accessibility as well as job roles and finances.

Exercise and nutrition, especially from an early age can have a huge impact on how you age later on in life. It is known that premature ageing is caused by a poor diet and little exercise as this causes cell destruction and increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and cancer. A healthy lifestyle can help lower the chances of many illnesses and diseases as well as improving your psychological health, for example the healthier and active you are the more friends and activities you are likely to have to keep you happy and in touch with the world. Health care and education accessibility may also influence the way you age as poorer health care and education facilities may lead to poor health and stress which can affect the way you age and even cause premature ageing Similarly with job roles and finances a higher job role and income can mean a better life with better nutrition, exercise, health care and education helping to lead a more pleasurable life and cause slower ageing. Social isolation and bereavement can also take its toll on ageing as the upset and strain can lead you to age a lot quicker and look a lot older than you are due to the body and mind shutting down to try to relieve the stress.

The main role for all health and social care workers is to treat and care for individuals whilst respecting their independence and wellbeing whether they are old, young, male, female, disabled etc. Every individual should have the same rights and independence whilst taking into consideration that not everyone will have the same needs and some may need more attention or care than others. Although freedom is important to the individual the health and social care worker must be aware of the extent of the independence to be given to the individual ensuring they are protected against any potential risks or dangers.

Independence can be promoted in several different ways, such as:
Respecting personal rights and privacy.
Giving the individual freedom of choice (where possible).
Allowing the individual to carry out actions for their selves, for example letting them wash themselves (where possible).
Addressing the individual appropriately and by their preferred name.
Using initiative to care for the individual to show genuine care and trust.
Involving the individual and their family when making changes to care plans etc.

It is important for health and social care workers to address the individual properly as it gives the individual a sense of comfort and trust that the staff will care and respect them. Thinking outside of the box and using initiative when working with the individual will make them feel at ease that you are not just at work to work but at work to care for them as an individual instead of a patient. A great bond and trust between staff and patients is vital. Involving the individual and family with care plans, meal plans and other changes will make them feel valued and that they are in the best hands as it can sometimes be upsetting to both the individual and family when someone they love is reliant on others to care for them. They can feel upset that they are no longer capable of looking after themselves and so the care from the staff can really make a difference. The patients’ freedom of choice is also very important as if the patient was constantly told what to they were to do without any say they could end up upset or depressed and may even question their existence and feel worthless.

Some choices may not always be appropriate or possible so this means the staff must be trained and taught how to overcome these situations especially against patients that may prove a little difficult. Health and social care workers must work together to give all patients the best care possible. This means regular meetings with different levels of staff in the hierarchy so every staff member is kept in the loop to ensure patients feel valued and cared for, especially those with no family or friends. Regular training sessions may also be required so that the staff is updated regularly on how to approach certain situations with others sharing their experience and knowledge to everyone in the group.

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