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Comparison of Disability and Ageing Theories

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 1805 words Published: 10th Oct 2017

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1.1 Comparison

There are similarities with regards to the meaning of disability defined by WHO and disabled world. According to the two organizations, the person has boundaries on achieving their tasks because of the physical and functional impairment of the body. There is restriction on a person’s participation in the society. The disabled world explained in an extensive coverage that includes intellectual, physical, mental, cognitive functionality as part of the impairment with a person with disability. Also, various forms of chronic ailments can cause disability that affects the participation, function and activity of an individual. However, the State Services Commission is alike from the above organizations because it states there that the person perceives disability from the medical condition that cannot be removed by assistive devices, or experienced longer than 6months from the health problems.

1.2 Comparison

In the aging definitions, Merriam Webster and Senescence info have some resemblances as aging is describe by diminishing function and senses of the body once the person grow old. According to Merriam Webster, the body and its cells deteriorates gradually as a person grows old that may result to decrease immunity, memory, cognition, skin texture, hair color, and muscle strength. It is more onto the physical and memory changes of an individual as he/she increases its age. Meanwhile, WHO’s definition differ from the above meaning as it depends on the society’s perception to old age, decline on physical function, role changes based on decline physical capability, developmental milestone of a person and non-active involvement in the community.

1.3 Comparing theories of disability and aging

  • One (1) disability and one (1) aging theory
  • Four (4) examples of diversity and describe

Theories of Disability

Social Model – is a model that distinguishes the undesirable outlooks, barriers and rejection by the society in which the society is the major contributor in restricting the person. There are some reasons why a person has limitations because of intellectual, sensory, physical and psychological disability. In this model welcomes equality and acceptance in order for the person to do their interests and activities in life. Also, it enhance the individual’s wellbeing and self-esteem that provides safe environment and support.

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Age ­– an individual may have difficulty in meeting his needs as he/she gets old. The physical condition deteriorates as a person increases age that may result to difficulty in accomplishing tasks in which the individual may perceive as an unproductive and useless person. In the social model, age is no longer a limitation for the disabled person because this model is formulated in order to eradicate the barriers that hinder the functionality of the individual in the society.

Gender – it is interpreted by culture that is correlates with the society’s norm because men represent masculinity, power, dominant and breadwinner as a role while women display a role of nurturer, femininity, less powerful. Due to society’s norms in gender, there is intensified impact as an individual has disability especially it is experienced more for women being helpless and passive. The gender disability varies. More women in the developed areas are poorer as compared to men, less educated, less wages in their job, less access to rehabilitation, feel harmful and daunting in the public areas and experienced deteriorating conditions while men experienced damage related incidents. In social model, the opportunity of an individual with disability in the society can be possible because it removes the barrier that affects the functionality of a person with regard to gender.

Class – there is an impact on the accessibility and availability of resources on a person’s socio economic status. A disabled individual in the low class level in the society may not access useful resources that could help their daily living and needs. Unemployed individual with disability could not afford education, living arrangement, and poor personal relationship that may result to abuse in which his/her interest is affected. The social model is beneficial for disabled person as it improve the wellness, possibilities and chances for a easy access on the facilities that could help their rehabilitation and employment.

Race – in the social model, racism and inequality can be prevented. There can be increased depression if the person is discriminated because of disability and race. Disabled individual can be encouraged to participate in the society free from criticism and judgment. Thus, the person can accomplish tasks and acquire needs.

Theories of Aging

Psychosocial Theory – it is a theory that says there is behavioral changes, social interaction changes, and activity engagement changes as a person grow old. According to this model, the person acts based on their age. Environment plays an important part in changing an individual’s behavior throughout the life span.

Age – as age increases, the individual removes more in participating in the society’s activities and focuses more on his / her family and career. Also, there are individuals that o not adapt on the fast changing technology advancement resulting to generation gap and fear on utilizing the technology. Thus, old aged person isolate himself/ herself because of environmental factors and society. Therefore, it is important that new interest and substitute activities should be provided to old aged person for regaining their activities lost and increase participation in the society.

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Gender – it is greatly influenced by the society as a person grows old with environment as one of the contributing factor in shaping the character. In general, males tend to become the breadwinner and protector of their family while females become the nurturer in the family. However, there can be alteration with regard to role as male becomes disabled then the female will take over and become the provider.

Class – the socio-economic status of an old aged person affects on how he/she acts and communicates. A low class old aged person may have low self-esteem and depression because he / she is unable to participate and socialize in the society. Due to this reason, the person’s behavior and ability to interact change because of the socio-economic status. There can be less opportunity in accessing education, health consultation, income, and place of residence because of these reasons. Thus, creating barrier in meeting one’s interest and needs.

Race – According to some research, there are certain race groups in countries like United States of America that are prone to ailments in contrast to counterpart overseas. For example, Japanese – American males have significant high rate of Alzheimer’s disease than males of same age in Japan and African – American have higher rate of Alzheimer than Africans. In addition, Alzheimer’s Association conducted some research study that there is an elevated percentage of dementia along with African – Americans than whites. These shows that there are certain race groups that can have Alzheimer or other diseases that can affect the social interaction of an aged person living with Alzheimer. These ailments can be evidently seen as individuals reach the age of 65 years old and above. Their behavior changes because of the development of diseases that dementia affects in a certain race group. They may be admitted in a dementia unit as their family has difficulty in taking care of them. Also, behaviors such as confusion, increase agitation, and challenging behavior can affect individuals on how to interact and socialize in the community.


Disabled world. (n.d.). Definitions of Disabilities. Retrieved from http://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/

Lanilla, M. (2009) Alzheimer’s Risk Factors. Retrieved from http://alzheimers.about.com/lw/Health-Medicine/Conditions-and-diseases/Alzheimers-Disease-How-Common-Is-It-.htm

Meekosha, H. (2004 April). Gender and disability. Retrieved from http://www.handicap-international.fr/bibliographie-handicap/4PolitiqueHandicap/groupes_particuliers/Femmes_Genre/meekosha.pdf

Merriam Webster Dictionary. (n.d.). Aging. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aging

World Health Organization. (2000). Defining of an older or elderly person. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/healthinfo/survey/ageingdefnolder/en/

Senescene.info. (2013). What is Aging. Retrieved from http://www.senescence.info/aging_definition.html

State Services Commission. (n.d.). Chapter one: Defining Disability. Retrieved from http://www.ssc.govt.nz/node/1671

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Social model of disability. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_model_of_disability

World Health Organization. (2014) Disabilities. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/topics/disabilities/en/


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