AGEING AND DEATH
Ageing and death are obvious characteristics of human nature. Man is born into the physical plane of existence grows in all the ramifications of human endeavour and later dies. In other words aging and death processes are twins aspects of human life. In part one of this paper, we will look at what aging s, what some of its physical and mental results are and why it is an important area of study. This part of provides you with an overview of aging and the aged. The second part deal with death education. An opportunity to understand the dying processes in an attempt to face its reality.
Understanding Ageing and Longevity
For centuries people have tried to slow down aging postponed death. The normal processes of aging are not caused by disease, so aging cannot be cured. The noticeable effects of aging results from wear and tear on essential functions in the body that change and become less efficient over the years. Muscles weaken immune system functions decrease and sex drive is reduced. Even the healthier body wears out slowly. However, by understanding aging processes, one can remain vigorous and healthy until the very end of life.
Longevity and life expectancy vary with demographic variables such as sex, marital status, ethnicity, as well individual differences in exercise, diet, personality and heredity. Women in Nigeria live longer on the average than men and married people live longer than single people. Differences in death rate and life expectancy among ethnic groups are related to social class. Social class differences in death rate are greater during infancy, childhood and young adulthood. Life expectancy for Newborns in Nigeria is close to 70 years. To attain that, however, requires implementing the healthy that we have been describing while you are still young.
Nigerian Aging Population
Aging refers to the normal changes in body functions that occur after sexual maturity and continue until death.
Maximum life span for human beings is about 11to 115 years. The average lifespan is the age at which half of the members of a population have died. Life expectancy is the average length of time that members of a population do not survive according to the idealized situation. Because of the increased in the average life span, the Nigerian population is becoming increasing older.
Age-related prejudice, called ageism is systematic stereotyping and discrimination against people because of age. Ageism is based on the misconceptions that older people cannot work efficiently are sickly and the mentally less competent than younger people.
Some experts in gerontology (the science that studies the causes and mechanisms of aging believe that populations in many countries are approaching the current maximum average life span, estimated at 85 to 90 years. Average human life expectancy would increase if major disease were eliminated.
It is common to think of human life in terms of a period of maturity in which the person develops, a period of maturity in which the person exercises his or her full powers and a period of maturity in which the person gradually diminish. This view is based on plants. But such a view of human ageing is too simplistic. Even biological ageing is the result of many processes that progressive at different rates. For example, the kidneys typically show diminished functioning much sooner than the skin does. In addition, we achieve maturity for different physical functions at different ages. For instance, we usually reach sexual maturity several years before we reach our full height. To confuse matters further, most physical functions very quite a bit among individuals at all stages of life.
When we examine the psychological effects of the passage of time in adulthood, we find that some dimensions diminish with aging. Other increase and soon remain relatively constant throughout adulthood. For example visual acuity generally declines with age, vocabulary usually increases, adulthood. Variable is as greater psychological aging than it is for physical aging. Common set of etymologies is responsible for the change in each part of the body. The biological process is usually associated with a decline of efficiency and functioning that eventually results is death. Some biologists define aging as progressive losses of functional capacity after an organism has attained maturity. Others begin. Still other prefers to consider aging in two separates stages primary and secondary.
Time-related and inevitable, regardless of his health and daily routine. They occur regardless of stress trauma of diseases, the aging process occurs at varying rates with individual and population: it may be modifies or even delay in some cases through exercise, drugs or transplants but still it occur and inevitably it results in death.
Secondary aging refers to those disabilities that result from diseases and or trauma. Artritis, Arterioclerosis, Chronic hypertension. Diabetes and a host of other chronic disorders are examples of secondary aging.
Aging is not one process but many and it has many possible outcomes, some positive and some negative. On the one hand, aging increases among of Experience one can have and thus brings opportunities. To gain wisdom or to become quite skilled at stable arts and crafts ranging from politics to music. Wisdom and experience can give an older person the kind of log-ranged perspective that is invaluable in an advisor.
Older people can also be keepers of tradition. They have information about many unrecorded, events that have happened over the years in families, workplaces, communities and the nation. Aging can also bring personal peace and mellowing. Later life can be a time of extra ordinary independent and opportunity once heavy responsibilities of employments and of child rearing are set aside. On the other hand, aging for some people is a losing proportion. They may lose physical or mental capacities, they may lose their good looks, they may lose the opportunity for employment and the income that goes with it, they outlive their spouse and friend, or they may lose their positions in organizations. Aging is neither predictable positive nor predictably negative. For some it is mainly positive, for others it is somewhere in between.
Our society associates the following with youth; health, beauty, sexual attractiveness, strength and vitality, employment, long-range goals, hopes and dreams.
The placed on youth in Nigeria is clearly becoming excessive and emotionally unhealthy for this reason, older people often reduce their social interaction in spite of their need and desire for if they gradually withdraw as they lose their influence in society.
The common stereotyped of old age are that is characterised by economic insecurity, poor health, loneliness, rigid attitudes and failing in physical and marital power. Despite the fact that many elderly person are not lonely, poor or in bad health nor do they become overtlyservile or mentally ill, negative stereotype of aging both pervasive and highly resistant to range. The result of these stereotypes as their use as psychological barrier by the young to separate them from the old and to ascribe an inferior social status to being elderly.
Benefit of Studying Aging
Knowledge of aging can improve your interactions with aging or older by helping you, it can show you that a particular older person’s viewpoint is but it can show dimensions that stereotypes people vary useful as a basis for action. It can help you be open to their point of view. And a study have basis for genuine empathy.
Empathy is essential if you want to serve older people effectively. Serving the elderly is mainly the process of assisting competent people to pursue goals of their own choosing. Understanding their goals requires both knowledge of other persons skills in setting aside your own viewpoint so that it does not interfere with your ability to see theirs.
Knowledge about aging can also improve your ability to make sound decisions whether they are decisions about your own life. Life decisions about that social policies are needed, decisions about what programmes need to be developed or decisions about whether current programme are operating effectively.
Society View of the Aged
How aging is viewed by society reflects the two-sided nature of aing. In some quarters, such as a politics, the political says 30 advantages of age are stressed.in others, such as industrial employment, the disadvantages are emphasized changed over time. For example, in the early day of the United State aging was much more likely to bring infirmity, than now.
Yet older men were in charge. They made the laws, led the troops, ran the fact that enterprise and set the moral tone for the country. The fact that this responsibility was difficult for most older to bear physically was see as less important than the contribution they could make.
However, the egalitarian ideology that swept through Europe and America in the 19th century brought with it a new older based on achievement rather than on inherited or ascribed position.
The negative side of aging took on more important as competition productivity and efficiency replaced tradition as the dominant values of the market place. It was not that aging always produced incapacity. Aging only had to produce incapacity sometimes to put older workers at a disadvantage in a labour market glutted by European immigrants and migrants from agricultural areas. And forced retirement in the absence of pensions meant poverty for huge numbers of older Americans.by the 1930s, the number of older people living in poverty was enormous. Aging came to be equated with poverty and shabbiness.
The doubt-edged nature of aging can alsobe found in current literature on aging. Some researchers emphasis the negative aspects of aging. The focus on sickness, poverty, isolation and demoralization. The theories they develop seek to explain how people arrive at such an unhappy state. And the tend to see aging as a social problem. Other researchers emphasis the positive. They look at the elderly and see that most have good health frequent contact with family members. Adequate income and a high degree of satisfaction with life. The theories they develop try to explain how aging can have such positive outcomes. They see the social problems of aging as applying to only a minority of the elderly.
The dual nature of aging to reflected in the fact that aging is both a social problem and a tremendous social achievement. For a significant minority of elder Nigerian, the system does work. They have difficult health care and better housing and transportation. That these difficulties recur regularly certainty represents a significant social problem. Yet for the majority of older Nigerians, the system does work. They are in good health, have modest but adequate retirement pensions, own their own homes, drive their own cars and need little in the way of social services. And the fact that most elderly people do not need assistance makes it possible to do something for those how do.
The aging and the aged
Aging begins long before it becomes obvious but to use age as a social attribute, it is necessary to identify indicators of aging. Aging can be defined by chronological age, functional capacity or life stage.
Birth certificate provide a clear means of assessing chronological age. Chronological age dentitions are out of a need do to set a point at which rules and policies should be applied and to separate those people who are eligible fore benefits from those who are ineligible. However, because the relationship between chronological definitions misclassify a large proportion of the population. For example, age 65 is the most commonly used chronological age for classifying people as aged or elderly. At this age people are eligible for full retirement benefits from social security and 65 is the age of eligibility for Medicare.
The rational for using age 65 was in part that mandatory retirement most commonly accrued at 65, so this was the point at which people needed retirement benefits and assistance in financing health care. Yet thousand of people became unable to work due to poor health prior to age 65 and thousand more continue employment after age 65. Even thousand there has been someprovision made for early are penalised by getting lowered benefits. And those how delayed retirement beyond 65 are not given a proportionate benefit increase. Thus, the use of age 65 as the age for defining need for certain programmes includes people (such as the employed) who do not need the programmes and excludes people (such as those who are under 62 and in all health.Who do need benefits the programme provides. These are the costs of using chronological age, and sometimes the costs out weight the benefits of easy administration. As anyone who would like to work longer in order to earn a higher social security retirement benefit but can’t because the programme is dominated by the idea of 65 as the retirement age.
Functional definitions rely on observable individual attributes to assign people to age categories. Appearance, mobility, strength, coordination and mental capacity are examples of such attributes. Grey hair, wrinkled skin, and stooped posture are commonly used generally criteria for categorising people as old. Adults who move stiffly, tentatively and with poor coordination exhibit the physical frailty that we associate with old age. And people, who are very forgetful, sometimes confused and hard of hearing have some of the psychological frailties associated with old age. Anyone who has all these attributes is undoubtedly old regardless of chronological.
Fortunately, only a very small percentage of people have even a few of those attributes, therefore, classifying people in categorised based on functional attributes is on uncertainprocess in most cases. In addition, functional age definitions vary from environment to environment. Functional age definitions are seldom used min research, legislation or social programme. Nevertheless, we do use them in our every day lives to get a general feeling of where to place people along the functional age continue very often we combine physical attributes with social ones to categorise people into broad life stages, such as adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, later maturity or ald age.
Middle age is the life stage in which most people first become aware that physical aging has noticeably changed them. They become aware that they have less energy than they used to and they ofteh less energy than they used to and they often begin to look for less physically demanding activities. Recovery from exertion takes longer. Chroic illness becomes more prevalent, vision and hearing begin to decline. Middle age is the stage at which people become part of the aging population as opposed to the aged population.
In later maturity, the declines in physical functioning and energy availability that begin in middle age continue. Chronic illness becomes more common. Activity, limitations become more prevalent. But even in this stage. Most people continue to be relatively active adults. Morality begins to take it toil among family and friends. Most such deaths are not associated with long chronic illness but instead are typically the result of acute episodes of cardiovascular disease of one’s own mortality.
The major changes associated with later maturity are also social retirement typically occurs during this stage. A social factors sizeable percentage of women become widow during this stage and although most manage to adjust to widowhood adjustment seldom easy. Deaths of friends and relatives begin to reduce noticeably the size of everyday social environment chronologically this stage usually begins early 60s.
Old age is the beginning of the end, it is characterised by extreme physical frailty. Mental recesses slow down an organic brain disease becomes common. People think about a lot of themselves and their pasts and try death is near. Activity is greatly restricted. Institutionalization is common at this stage. This stage of lie may not be very pleasant, at least externally, chronologically, the onset of old age typically occurs in the 70s, but there are mainly people in their 80s who will show no symptoms of old age.
Theories of Aging
Ene (2004) examined the four theories of aging as cited by Aiken (1994)
- Breakdown Theories
According to these theories, aging is the result of wear and tear, stress or exhaustion of body organs and cells. Body organs are thought to wear out with use and exposure to various types of environmental stress. In stress theory every person inherits a certain amount of adaptation energy at birth and that the rate of aging varies directly with this energy that is expanded. In the same vein, the homeostatic unbalance theory explain further the breakdown theories, which attributes aging to the breakdown of homeostatic of self-regulatory, mechanisms that control the internal environment of the body. Aging within the framework of this theory is the accumulation of homeostatic errors or faults and a consequent loss of the ability to maintain a steady homeostatic internal balance in the body.
Other examples of breakdown theories are immunological theory and autoimmunity theory. Immunological theory views aging as due to the gradual deterioration of the immune system, so that the body can no long protect itself adequately against injury, disease, and mutant or foreign cells on the other hand ,autoimmunity theory emphasized that the aging body creates antibodies to attack both types of cells and thereby reject its own tissues, an examples is rheumatoid arthritis.
- Substance Theories
Substance theories, at the tissues level, emphasize changes in collagen and the proliferation of mutant cells. The strands of connective tissues protein [collagen] change with age, resulting in less elasticity or resilience in visceral organs,slower healing, and other bodily changes. The numbers of mutant cells also increases with age, raising the likelihood of cancerous growths. Walford  commented that damage cells or DNA are repaired more quickly in younger than in older people.
- Hormonal Theories
Dencklas’s  notion that human aging is caused by the released of antihyroid hormones by the hypccthalamus. These blocking hormones presumably inhibit the absorption of thyroxin, which is necessary for cell metabolism and functioning.
- Aging Clocks
Many researchers are convinced that there is an aging ciock –a prewired, genetically determined aging programmed somewhere in the body. This aging clock presumably dictates the and time one can expect to age and dies. A proponent of the individual cell aging clock theory is hayflick  whose experiments have shown that there is a built in limit to the number of times, individual body cells can subdivide before dying. Evidence point to at least two kinds of aging processes –accidental damages to the molecules, membranes or parts of the body and the prewired genetically programmed aging clock.
- Bio physiological theories of Aging
A wide range of theories relate to one or more of the body’s three biological components, two of which are cellular and the third non-cellular .the first component is the cells that multiply continuously throughout the life span; for example, epithelial and the white blood cells. The second component is the non-dividing cells for examples, brain neutrons, and third component is the non-cellular or interstitial material most theories cell to treat all three comp0nent. Some forms on the dividing cells claiming that the regenerated cells are always inferior to the original cells thereby resulting in a gradual decline in quality over times.
Other focus on the irreplaceable cells, that is the non-dividing cells and the possibility that they may be totally lost or decline in function. A third explanation for aging suggests that damage takes place in the non- cellular materials of the body interfering with nutrition, respiration, and excretion. Biology aging can be studied at a variety of levels, using various techniques
- Psychosocial Theories Of Aging
- Disengagement theory
Becoming elderly covertly 60years of ages is perceived many people as a terrible unattractive, and perhaps even frightening occurrence. These perceptions form a basis for the disengagement theory of aging.
Accordingly to this theory, while society slowly withdraws [disengage] from the elderly, also withdraws society. The movement away from cooperation and interaction foster a sense of isolation. Society no longer wants or need the elderly and the elderly comply.
This theory properly is relevant to Nigeria situation. The attainment of older people is rising through education detainment programme the log of old behind young persists. Since people generally avoid showing their ignorance, they adapt, often through avoidance.
- Activity Theory
This theory implies that the diminishing social interaction of older people result from societal withdrawal and is contrary to the will of the aging population itself. According to this theory, older people still want and need social contact, but due to the biases of society in favour of youth that contract is gradually withdrawn, the of aging people is withdrawn from them and their potential for real influence greatly diminished.
In contrast to a theory that depicts elderly as being ‘former’ member of society, proponents of the activity theory of aging see elderly as being active and contributing for as possible.
Physical Changes Of Aging
The process of aging beings in every individual from the time of birth. Aging is a very natural process and the health care worker needs to be aware of the physical changes that takes place. Understanding these changes will help you to be patient and less frustrated with others.
- BRAIN: Develops changes in a numbers of nerve and in the brain mass.
Elderly people frequently suffer from arteriosclerosis, much causes decreased blood flow. This will cause a decrease in the confusion which is misunderstood and may be very annoying to the health care workers.
- VISION: Being to change with aging. Small items and things at a distance
are more difficult to see. Night driving may become difficult. The eyes take longer to adjust to changes from dark to light and light to dark areas. Diseases may occur.
- HEARING: Changes becomes noticeable in the sixties. High frequency
sounds such as telephone or doorbell may not be heard loss understanding of consonants and vowel sounds may results in an individual complaining that others mumbles or speak too softly.
- TASTE: Smell and touch sense decline 50%, and food enjoyment is
reduced. Elderly people may request extra salt and sugar become they can not taste it. The ability to stimuli is decreased.
- MUSCULOSKELETAL:Muscles and skeleton become weakens with age.
The bones becomes very brittle. Fracture may occur with very little stress. With reduced stamina, elderly are often less active.
RESPIRATORY AND CIRCULATORY SYSTEMS
The lungs become less elastic and the aveolar-capilary membrane thickens. This makes oxygen exchanges more difficult. The rib carriage does not expand as much. The heart becomes narrowed and clogged. The systolic pressure may rise and may result in high blood pressure.
- The heart: Also becomes a less efficient pump. Heart disease is the number
one cause of death in older people.
- Gastrointestinal System: Many elderly patient experience constipation loss
of teeth may interfere with chewing. With age,the liver loses up to 20% of its weight.
- The Urinary System: The bladder holds less urine as an individual ages. This causes an urgent and frequent need to urinate.Bladder infections may occur from retention of urine in the bladder. This results in urinary urgency and urinary discomfort.
Your awareness of these changes will help you be patient and understanding. These physical changes often cause frustration in your patient and in you. Remembering that the patient is slowed down because his body is aging will help you bean effective health care work.
Special Need and Methods of Care of the Aged
Health concerns of the elderly
In elderly persons it is frequently difficult to distinguish between changes caused by aging and those caused by disease. In dealing with the elderly we find it difficult to distinguish between the level in the elderly person to be considered an indicator of a disease or to be considered a reflection of normal old age.
In elderly persons structural and physiological changes are routinely. In some cases these and closely related to disease but in most case they reflect the gradual decline that is thought to be result of the normal aging process. The most frequently seen changes include the following.
Decrease in bone
Changes in the architecture of bone
Decrease in muscle build and strength i.e loosing shape
Decrease in oxygen intake.
Loss of neuroproducing cells in the nervous system.
Decrease in auditory and visual activity
Decrease in all other sensory modalities, including the sense of body positioning.
Slower reaction time
Gait and posture changes resulting from a weakening of the muscles of the trunk and legs.
Besides, the most problematic changes seen in the elderly is the increased sensitivity of the body’s homeostatic mechanism because of this sensitivity. Minor injection or super-social injury can be traumatic enough to disrupt markedly the body’s ability to maintain its internal balance. Because of this delicate home of homeostatic mechanism, an illness that would be easily controlled in a younger person could even prove fatal to a seemingly healthy 75 year old person.
Particularly such condition as hypertension, osteoporosis (bone becoming soft and soft until it can no more carry the body.
Fatal Disease of the Aged
- Aizheimer’s Disease and Senile Dementa
The medical term for impairment or loss of mental functions in elderly person is senile dementia. Many diseases and condition can result in sensile dementia but the most common cause in Alzheimer’s disease which is characterised by memory loss, reduced ability to use language, losses perception and problems solving abilities and reduced mobility.
Traits of this disease include loss of judgement, memory and abstract thinking. Personality and behaviour gradually deteriorate, becoming steadily worse over time. Mental alertness, adaptability, sociability and tolerance for new things or changes in routine all decline. The patient may become more self-centered in thoughts and activities, untidy, agitated and a reduction to vegetative level of functioning.
This is a condition in older person, particularly women that results from loss of bone material causing bones to become thin, porous and brittle. The brittieness of bone makes them extremely vulnerable to fractures with even a minimal amount of stress. Exercise such a weight lifting, running, walking, briskly, reduces the risk of osteoporosis because bone is renewed with exercise. A sedentary lifestyle contributes to the risk of osteoporosis. Regular exercise smoke free, not consuming alcohol excessively also helps prevent osteoporosis.
- Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease (heart disease, hypertension, cerebrovascular diseases arteriosclerosis) are the leading causes of death among the elderly in Nigeria.
Heart disease can be caused by blood clots, holes in the chamber walls of the heart or defective heart values. Arteriosclerosis usually affects the coronary arteries that carry blood to the heart muscle.
Increased blood pressure is also the result of construction of the small arterioles, a condition knows as hypertension. Hypertension is sometimes associated with a cardiac problem or with both heart and kidney problems.
- Heart attack and Stroke
In advanced cases of cardiovascular disease, the heat fails, resulting in a heart attack or stroke (cerebrovascular accident). Whereas heart attacks are almost always caused by clots in coronary arteries, strokes result from clot or haemorrhages in cerebral (brain) arteries.
Management of the Elderly
Management of the elderly goes beyond medical care. The non-medical care of the elderly falls on the relation or paid aides that look after the elderly. Generally, such responsibility requires a lot of patient, sacrifice, ingenuity and understanding to be able to cope with incessant change in mood and behaviour, alternating between childish, phobic and back to normal adult behaviour.
Keeping well with Aging
The variables that seem to have some connection with aging are nutrition (diet), exercise, heredity, psychological characteristics and adopting reasonable life style.
Healthy diet increases longevity to some extent. Evidence seems to show that people of moderate weight live longer than those who are underweight or overweight. It is true that too much salt and too many fatty or sweet foods c
contribute to a variety of diseases but nutritionist do not always agree on the best diet for promoting a long life.
Lower protein intake from animal products (red meat, whole milk, eggs) and more protein from vegetables (grain, legumes, cereals). Less fat especially animal fat and fewer calories-intake.
Exercise reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and hence promotes longevity. Walking, calisthenics, swimming and jogging in moderation increase oxygen consumption, ventilation capacity, cardiac output, blood flow. Regular exercise results in decrease in body fats poisons and reduction in blood pressure. Exercise also improves the ability to cope with psychological stressful situation.
Both causal observation and systematic investigation indicate that the rates of aging.
Defining some Death-related concepts
This is the study if Death-related behaviours, thoughts, feelings and phenomenon. The term was introduced by Elic Metchnikoffi (1903), a distinguished life scientist and disciple of Louise Pasteur. One of the first eminent researcher to envision the development of gerontology and thamatology. Metchinkoff also provide the names for both new disciplines. Thamatology was derived from Greek Thanatos, in mythology the twin of hypnos (sleep).
Death can be defined as a process of transition that starts with dying and end with being dead (Kalish, 1976). For practical purposes, dying person is a person identified having a condition from which no recovery can be accepted. Dying is thus the period during which the organism loses its viability. The term dying trajectory refers to the speed with which a person dies, the rate of declines in functioning. Dying can be described as a process while death is the translation. The word death can also be defined as a point at which a person becomes physically dead. Often when they say that someone died yesterday we are now referring to the certified dead dying process but instead to its final producer. The moment in timw when a person becomes dead. Clinical death was once considered an easy practical issue to resolve. Recently, however it has become possible to stimulate artificially both breathing and heartbeat. As a result there I currently a huge legal over the issue of when a person is physically dead.
Dead can also be a social process (Kateneaum 1969). People are socially dead when we no longer treat them as people but as unthinking, unfeeling objects. Social death has occurred when people talk about the dying person rather than to the dying person is capable of hearing and understanding what is being said. Thus, social death sometimes occurs before physical death does.
To define death according to Atchley (1983) is to believe that people continue to be experience after their physical death. Physical is undeniable. It is mental death that is deniable. Belief in an afterlife, belief in the existence of ghosts, spirits, angels or demons and belief in reincarnation are all ways to deny the death of the ability to experience. Kalish (1976) reports that physician often tell patients directly and clearly that they are going to die to find out at a later meeting that their message was not heard.
Meaning of Death
How people approach their own deaths and the death of others depends to some extend on what death means to them. Some people see death as a ugly and meaningless extinction of life. Other see it as a beautiful and meaningful transition to a new and better type of life. Some see death as hateful destruction others see it as a welcome release.
The most common reaction to the idea of death is fear. Whether fear of death is inevitable or a learned response is an unresolved issue. But whatever their cause, death fears exist. Older people do not appear to be extremely afraid of death and older people express fewer death fears than younger people do.
Fear of death also demands to some extents on religiosity. Garield (1974), reports that people who use psychedelic drugs or who practice meditation have lower death anxiety than do others.
Kalish (1981) contended that the consequences of death feared are: losses, dread of extinction, dread of entering the human and facing the possibility of judgement, fear and anxiety about retribution, separation and abandonment, fear and anxiety about the death and dying process of loved one.
Death fear has about eight dimensions.
- Fear of dying which deals with the specific act of dying rate rather than with any related consequences accompanying death.
- Fear of the dead which simply pertains to people or animals that have died.
- Fear of being destroyed which relates to human destruction of ones body immediately following death.
- Fear of significant others which concerns (fear of significant) other dying as well as fear associated with the effects one’s death may have on significant other.
- Fear of the unknown which deals with ambiguity of death and the ultimate question of existence.
- Fear of conscious death which deals with living out horrors associated with the immediate processes subsequent to death whereby the pronouncement of death is not accepted to be explain termination of consciousness.
- Fear of the body after death which is associated with concern for bodily qualities after death
- Fear of premature death is based on temporal,elements of life, and concerns the failure to achieve goals and experience before death.
The two positive outcomes which the ascribed to fear of death are that it helps to exert nearly so much effort in avoiding death without which many perhaps most people would be at any early stage.
To bereave means to take away from, to rob, to dispossess, bereavement is therefore a state involving loss. Although the term usually implies that the loss produces unhappiness, this is essential to its meaning; my father whom am very close, dies and I am bereaved, my mother who I have not see in 15 years dies; although the value of that something differs greatly.
Grief is a response to bereaved, it is how the survivor feels. It is also how the survivor thinks, eats sleeps and makes it through the day. Grief refers to the sorrow anger, guilt and confusion that can arise when one has suffered all or is bereaved. Grief is the process of getting over another person’s death. The process may be finished quickly or it may never be finished. In Leopara’s (1973) study of widows, 68 percent said they were over their husband’ death within a year, while 20 percent said they had never gotten over it and did not expect to. Individual grief takes three forms. Some common physical reactions to grief include shortness of breath, frequent sighting, tightness in the chest, feelings of emptiness in the abdomen, lose of energy, lack of muscular strength and stomach upset. Theses death and generally diminish with time.
Emotional reactions include anger, guilt, depression, anxiety and pre-occupation with thoughts of the person who dies. These responses also diminish with time.
The intellectual aspect of grief consist of what Lopata (1973 call the purification of the memory of the deceased. In this process, the negative characteristics of the person who died are stripped away, leaving only a positive inclined memory somehow we think it wrong to speak ill of the dead. The content of obituaries and memorial services also attests the results to this process. Idealization of the dead has positive values in that it satisfies the survivors need to believe that the dead person life had mean.
Glick et al (1974) found that men and women react somewhat differently to grief. When their spouses died, men more often responded ad if they had lost part of themselves, while woman responded as if they had been deserted, abandoned and left to fed for themselves. Men find it more difficult and less desirable to express grief and they accept the reality of death somewhat more quickly than women do. On the other hand, men find it more difficult to work during bereavement than women do.
At least three factors help minimize grief. The first has to do with how we view death. If we can see death as natural and just then we can move easily accept it. Also, it helps a great deal to feel that we know that what happened to the person who die, what death is and what it means in terms of afterlife.
The second factor is the degree to which relationship to the person who died seems complete. A complete relationship is one in which there are no undelivered communications. If we can feel that we have told the person everything we needed to tell them and had recognised all of their action we needed to and that they had done the same for us, men it is much easier to let go of the relationship.
The third factor that eases the loss of dose friends or family is the presence of surviving confidents to provide support during the grieving process. Others help the individual through bereavement. Bereaved people are exempt from certain responsibilities. They are not exempted to go to their job. Family send friends help with cooking and caring for dependents. Older women often find their decisions being made for them by their adult children.
Care of the Dying
In caring for the dying, it is important to remember that most dying people fear being abandoned, humiliated and lonely at the end their lives. Thus, encouraging the maintenance of intimate personal relationships with other is an important aspect of the social care of dying people. Intimate personal relationship with dying persons is an important aspect of the social care of dying people. Topic of death can be openly discussed. When dying people are kept in the dark about the nature of their condition, they are denied of death in the company of those they love, some people do not want to be told that they are dying. In addition, some dying people keep their own prognoses.
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