Adulthood in the later years of life is different from the previous stages of life. Unlike the stages in later adulthood, the earlier stages emphasize developmental growth and achievements. In the later years in life, a person must deal with deteriorating health and death. The developmental theories in late adulthood involve the methods in which an individual can deal with their relationships with their bodily changes, mental abilities, changes in close relationships, families, overall society, and intended and unintended relocations (Rathus, 2013).
As people grow older, they develop dental problems which lead to nutritional intake issues. Cognitive function declines affecting memory, decision making, conversing, and problem solving. In addition, falls can occur with mental status disturbances. Lack of social interaction, depression, and anxiety also crop up in the elderly. Sleep patterns are altered by restless legs, snoring, and disrupted breathing sequences. At times, pain can be constant from arthritis, osteoarthritis, or other medical issues (Tabloski, 2014).
Activity theory of aging suggest that when elderly people interact with the community and include activities in their daily routine they are their happiest (Baird, 2011, p. 187). Ariel stated that “everyone need some form of release” (Lemmon, 1995).
Aging is an inevitability of life. With age man exchanges the physical prowess of youth for the wisdom that comes through experiencing the trials and triumphs of life. As an individual enters late adulthood, age 65 and older, they experience many physical, emotional and mental changes never previously encountered and which may require an adaptation of their earlier lifestyle. Some of these late adulthood changes are primary and secondary aging, issues regarding health and wellness, family and personal relationships, and the milestone of retirement. Understanding these changes can help late age adults
Late Adulthood can be a time of distress or fulfillment. It will likely include deep feelings of loss and grief, and may also include a sense of hope and joy. Despair can come from the experience of loss, missed opportunities in the past, declining health, losing friends and family, and an ever-approaching unknown future. Hope and positivity are derived from a sense of purpose and meaningfulness (Berger, 2014, p. 733). How does someone in Late Adulthood successfully navigate this time of life? I discovered one perspective by talking with Mrs. Bonnie Yost.
Friends provide assistance, social support, and comfort. Social support enhances self-esteem, provide encouragement, and promote health behaviors. Elderly people usually have family and friendships connection that keep them busy and happy with activities (DePaulo, 2006). Elderly with social interactions tend to live longer and happier. Connection with family members provide crucial source of comfort in the last years of their lives. Siblings provide assistance and support during late adulthood as they often share the longest relationship. Children may turn to their elderly parents for monetary help, information, and advice. During this stage, children and grandchildren are important to the healthy development of elderly.
Later adulthood is the time in life when changes in marriage, families, and peer relationships are affected the most by the loss of someone close to that person. “Most people 70 years of age or older are widowed, divorced, or single” (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2010, p.619). Losing a spouse or close friend can create a sense of loneliness, which causes depression, anxiety and the emptiness feeling can become overwhelming. Depression also leads to psychological effects that will deteriorate a person’s health causing the chance for a terminal disease to become much higher. The weaker appearance of older adults causes family and remaining peers to step up in the role of making sure the person’s wellbeing is being met. (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2010). Living accommodations and healthcare needs
There are numerous ways to define successful aging. The word “aging” usually has a negative connotation. However, when putting the word success behind it introduces positive aspects that can essentially promote a long-term developmental outcome for an individual. Happening around midlife and late adulthood, successful aging is simply when an individual has complete development and maintenance of control throughout life, has achieved in the selection of goals and purposes, as well as maximization of gains and compensations of failure. This is the complete and ultimate goal for those in their late adulthood and is quite fascinating to developmental scientist. Those who engross themselves with attempting to achieve a successful aging will most likely have characteristics which in turn encourage and advocate for things such as health, growth, and vitality, maintaining social encounters and productive activities, and lastly maintaining high physical and cognitive functioning. Two developmental scientist, Vaillant & Mukamal, have discovered the factors that predict satisfaction of life are those an individual is able to control. These factors include are health habits, marital stability, years of education, and coping strategies. On the other hand those factors that are out of an individual 's control can not predict the level of happiness or satisfaction with life. These include the length of life of a family member, early health status, parental SES, and family warmth in
Successful aging is a complicated and multifaceted concept that varies contextually among individuals, disciplines, and even time. Gerontologists have traditionally considered a person to have aged successfully upon having reached old age with their physical health, mental well-being and spirit still intact. Ultimately, successful aging is a matter of personal perspective, largely influenced by an individual 's values and experiences. Even those within America 's elderly population hold conflicting perspectives on what it means to have aged successfully. A qualitative study published by Reichstadt and Sengupta titled Older Adults ' Perspectives on Successful Aging, concluded that “older adults viewed successful aging as a balance between self-acceptance and self-contentedness on one hand and engagement with life and self-growth in later life on the other” (Reichstadt, "Older Adults ' Perspectives on Successful Aging: Qualitative Interviews", pp. 567-575.)
Today people who are age 65 or older make up more than one tenth of the U.S. population and are the quickest growing age group (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2010). As adults reach later adulthood, they begin to undergo mental, physical, and social transformations. All of these changes are experienced and handled differently by each individual. Time and planning help to alleviate stress and can make these changes easier to deal with. Family and friends are an exceptional source of support during these tough times.
As adults age there are many changes that one may be challenged with. Aging adults begin to face cognitive, physical, and emotional issues that can present a challenge to health care professionals who are providing care. As one enters older adulthood, he or she is faced with potential memory loss. A struggle of forgetfulness can be a daily challenge that comes with aging. Degradation of the body can make everyday tasks increasingly challenging. With this degradation, simple activities such as walking, dressing oneself, eating, and showering can be limiting and difficult. Depression, loneliness, and a sense of
For this paper, I had the privilege of interviewing one of my friend’s grandmother. Her name is Jamie Hansen and she is a healthy and active 68-year-old grandmother. In the beginning of the phone call, I asked some basic background knowledge questions such as how many grandkids she has and if she was a widower or not. I found out that she and her husband are happily married and that she has six grandchildren. As I got to know her more I started asking questions that pertained to the interview aspect of social theories. I figured out that Mrs. Hansen’s responses led to an application of the continuity and socioemotional selective theories.
Throughout the Human Behavior and the Social Environment course, we have encompassed the many stages of the life cycle process. Now that I am twenty two years old, I found the early adulthood stage to be the most influential, and the most sensible one to relate to given the point that I am at in my life. More importantly, I decided to research and apply this life cycle stage to a variety of milestones, experienced by my interviewee, Chelsie. Living just houses apart, being raised by single fathers, Chelsie and I found that we had many things in common. We have remained friends since we were children, and have only grown to be closer into our early adulthood years.