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A young adult's ability to nurture is moderate, but often dormant since most pursue avenues of preparation for their adult lives rather than immediately beginning their own families.Married and cohabiting couples are much more independent and capable of nurturing and remain so throughout the grand-parenting years.
In Figure 1 below you see tremendous growth in the United States where the elderly now comprise only 1 in 8 members of US society, but in 2050 will comprise 1 in 5.Gerontology is multi-disciplinary with medical and biological scientists, social scientists, and even financial and economic scientists all studying the processes of aging from their discipline's point of view.Social Gerontology is the sociological sub field of gerontology which focuses on the nonphysical and social aspects of aging.There are, in the United States, many who hold deeply held biases and prejudices against the elderly.Ageism is the prejudice and discrimination against a person based on his/her chronological age. One may be prejudiced against another racial group, cultural or ethnic group, or religious group while never being at risk of becoming a member of that group.As the life course progresses into later life, the oldest elderly begin to lose their independence as their health declines to the point that their resources lag behind the daily demands placed upon them. Senescence is the social, emotional, biological, intellectual, and spiritual processes associated with aging.
For many in our modern societies, aging is feared, vilified, and surgically and cosmetically repaired.In fact there are more centenarians than ever before.A Centenarian is a living person who has had their 100 birthday.We do not like being "off our game" and senescence is viewed as a weakness.Yet, many elderly find their lives very satisfying.US Census counts indicated about 37,000 centenarians in 1990 and about 50,000 in 2000 (Retrieved from SOURCE).