PSY216 Psychology Of Ageing : Essay Fountain


Case Study

You will need to create a case study to illustrate some of the key points that you make in the essay. The case study must be your own work.

You can base the case study on someone that you know ensuring that their confidentiality is maintained by using pseudonyms, but you must not use a case study that is from the textbook or other readings.

You will need to integrate the case study with the psychological literature discussed. In other words, do not simply present the case study and then the psychological material but rather integrate the two elements and try and demonstrate throughout your essay how the case study illustrates some aspects of the literature and, conversely, how the literature relates to the features of the case study.


For this assessment item, you will need to produce a written piece in the style of an essay to address one of the questions below. As part of your essay, you will need to construct a case study to illustrate the arguments you make.

For your essay, choose from ONE of the five topics described below.

1.Use It Or Lose It?
2.Rose-Coloured Glasses. Are Older Adults More Positive Than Younger Adults?
3.How Can I Age Well?
4.Don’T Hate Me Just Because I Am Old.
5.For Older Adults, It Is The Same Old Story.



How Can I Age Well

Successful aging remains a controversial topic in gerontological research. There is a lack of consensus among scholars regarding its meaning. For quite some time, gerontological researchers concentrated on the adverse outcomes of aging like loneliness and a person’s susceptibility to chronic conditions as well as cognitive decline (Aartsen, 2013). Currently, scholars are focusing on the positive outcomes associated with aging and the determinants of these outcomes. The new perspective assumes different labels, including optimal aging, aging well, and productive aging (Hartley et al., 2018). However, successful aging is a phrase that is widely utilized in research and exhibits a considerable impact on the political domain and academic gerontology. In this context, the aging process can either be usual or successful depending on a person’s productive engagement, cognitive and functional capacity, and state of health.  A person realizes successful aging if he/she exhibits high social and functional ability.

Understanding Successful Aging and how it differs from Usual Aging

Three different domains characterize successful aging. They include low chances of disease-related disability and illness, active involvement with life, and high physical and cognitive functional capacity (Rowe & Kahn, 1997). The integration of active engagement with maintaining functional capabilities and free of illness is what defines successful aging. Distinct subcomponents characterize the three aspects of successful aging.  For instance, the low probability of disease does not necessarily mean presence or absence of illnesses. On the contrary, it also includes the severity, presence, or lack of risk factors for various health conditions (Rowe & Kahn, 1997). High functional capacity encompasses both cognitive and physical elements. These elements increase an individual’s ability to engage in activities. They focus on what an individual can accomplish instead of what they are doing.

Although active engagement assumes different forms, successful aging is concerned with productive activity and interpersonal relations. Interpersonal relation refers to a person’s direct assistance, emotional support, information exchange, transactions, and contact with others (Bosnes et al., 2019). Productive activity is that which adds value in the society regardless of whether it is reimbursed or not.  Therefore, working as a volunteer or taking care of a person with a disability is considered productive.

Unlike Rowe & Kahn’s model that focuses on three aspects, Nguyen and Seal (2014) identify seven attributes of successful aging. These elements include longevity, life satisfaction, and active engagement with life and free from disability (Nguyen & Seal, 2014). Other features are positive adaptation and independent/high functioning. The definition does not focus on the significance of interpersonal relationships and psychological health. Therefore, successful aging is being free from chronic illness, along with having positive mental health and physical functioning (Nguyen & Seal, 2014). Aging successfully might be evident in some phases of life while lacking in others. Further studies must be conducted to understand the heterogeneity of successful aging in older people.


Differences between Usual and Successful Aging

Successful aging is defined by minimal or absence of physiologic decline. Usual aging, in contrast, is characterized by significant losses in different physiologic functions (Rowe & Kahn, 1997). However, usual aging is modifiable by addressing factors that contribute to a substantial decline in the functioning of various organs in the body. These factors include environmental exposures, physical activity, nutrition, and diet (Bosnes et al., 2019).  As a person ages, their susceptibility to various disabilities and health conditions results from unavoidable inherent aging processes. Some of them are genetically determined, while lifestyle and age-related factors trigger others.

Whether Successful Aging Vary Cross-Culturally

Successful aging varies cross-culturally. In research carried out in Australia, it was concluded that Anglo Australians and Chinese Australians hold comparable views regarding aging. For instance, they value maintaining positive mental and physical health (Nguyen & Seal, 2014). Chinese Australians prefer being financially independent so that they do not depend on their children (Nguyen & Seal, 2014). Jensen, Dungan,  Goates, and Thacker (2017), in their studies, found out that successful aging means different things to Japanese Americans and Alaska Natives. For instance, Japanese-American men consider financial security to be of great significance, while Alaska Natives value spirituality and well-being.

African-Americans consider successful aging to be directly linked to their life process. According to them, life is diminished or enhanced depending on the environmental, economic, and social experiences they are subjected to in life (Seegert, 2013). Stressors that emerge in various stages of development in their lives exhibit a considerable impact on their health and well-being. For instance, healthcare disparities that African American face contributes to their worsening health outcomes. A flexible framework is mandatory in defining successful aging because its definition and comprehension differ across cultures.

How People Can Achieve Successful Aging

Rowe and Khan Model identify three aspects of successful aging, such as engaging with life, improving physical and cognitive functioning, and reducing disability and disease. Individuals should take necessary actions to realize these aspects of successful aging.  Even though it is challenging to control genetic factors that are risk factors for developing certain conditions, people can modify their behavioral factors to achieve successful aging (Rybolt, 2016). For example, they should seek medical attention when feeling sick; perform regular checkups and other preventive care; exercise regularly; eat a healthy diet; manage their chronic conditions; obtain enough sleep; view life from a positive perspective; and build and maintain one’s social network

Case Study Depicting Successful Aging

Lucas Hernandez is a 65year old Chinese American. He is a retired nurse. Lucas is financially independent, though suffering from diabetes. However, he is managing his condition by engaging in regular physical activities and eating healthy meals as directed by his doctor. He volunteers in an organization that takes care of the sick and is a staunch believer. He is contented with his life.


Successful aging is associated with high social and functioning capacity. Its meaning differs across cultures. For some, successful aging is achieving financial security, while for others; it is about spirituality and well-being. Regardless of the different meanings, all people can achieve successful aging. They need to eat healthy foods, take part in regular physical activities, engage in social events, and pursue preventive services. These measures reduce individuals’ vulnerability to various disabilities and chronic conditions.



Rybolt, B.(2016, August 29). 8 tips for successful aging. Summit Medical Group, Retrieved from

Bosnes, I., Nordahl, H.M., Stordal, E., Bosnes, O., Myklebust, T., & Almkvist, O.(2019). Lifestyle predictors of successful aging: A 20-year prospect HUNT study. Plos One, 14(7), 1-12.

Hartley, A., Angel, L., Castel, A., Didierjean, A., Geraci, L.,Hartley, J., Hazeltine, E., Lemaire, P., &Touron, D.(2018). Successful aging: The role of cognitive gerontology. Experimental Aging Research, 44(1), 82-93.

 Jensen, A., Dungan, M.T., Goates, M.C., & Thacker, E.L.(2017). What is successful aging? Comparing frameworks for successful aging with cultural perspectives. Innovation in Aging, 1(1), 915-916.

Nguyen, A.L., & Seal, D.W.(2014). Cross-cultural comparison of successful aging definitions between Chinese and Hmong elders in the United States. Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology, 29(2), 153-171.

Aartsen, J.F.M.(2013). Successful aging and its relationship to contemporary norms: A critical look at the call to age well. Sociological Anthropologists, 44(1),  51-73.

Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1997). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 37(4), 433-440.

Seegert, L.(2013, November 22). Culture an important factor in successful aging. Association of Health Care Journalist, Retrieved from

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