Later Adulthood Development

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Later Adulthood Development 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. During later adulthood a person experiences changes in role and social status. This is a period in life where one generally spends time relaxing and pursuing leisure activities. One also…show more content…
The elderly experience many changes in marriage, family, and peer relations (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2010). Generally retirees who are married have been in their marriages for many years. These couples have a routine that they are used to and have followed for many years. There are unsaid rules of who handles the finances and who handles family responsibilities, such as taking care of the home. Retirement may disrupt these roles and routines and change everything about them. Medical issues can also take a toll on a marriage (Dale, Smith, & Norlin, 2009). If one spouse becomes ill or debilitated in any way, the healthy spouse may become angry, depressed, and frustrated with taking care of all of the responsibilities. If a spouse dies it can be very difficult for the living spouse to deal with (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2010). Retirees who are not married also face new problems when faced with retirement. This group of people must learn to live on a fixed income. Peer relationships change because older people tend to reduce their number of contracts with the world and tend to be less active and withdraw from their social surroundings (Dale, Smith, & Norlin, 2009). This is called disengagement. This is a very difficult task, and only a few people can adjust with it smoothly. Those who were more active in social activities in their earlier lives, find it most difficult. Older people also
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