Sexual Activity in Late Adulthood
Bridgewater State University
This paper was prepared for SCWK 321, Section 01, taught by Professor Jonghyun Lee
Late adulthood is considered to start at the age of 65 and continue through 85 until death. According to Erik Erikson’s 8 stage of psychosocial development, this is the final stage of an individual, the integrity vs. despair stage. During this stage of maturity in late adulthood, they begin to reflect on their life lived; if they feel that they made a contribution to life and feel fulfilled, they accept themselves and accept death as a reality. Erik Erikson “believed if we see our lives as unproductive, feel guilt about our pasts, …show more content…
Our environment, in which we live in, helps define who the old age are but these meaning can change depending where you might live. For example in United States, a person in their late adulthood might be viewed as an invalid, burden or useless whereas this same person can be defined as a person of wisdom and strength in Africa.
Life expectancy are soaring , thanks to the decrease in mortality of children and young adults, the decrease of mortality among the aging particularly because of the accessibility to improved health technology but it is expected for our body to decay overtime. This is a natural ongoing process that cannot be stopped by any technology or gimmicks. As our body age, it become harder for our cells to reproduce as often as before and it has less ability to create antioxidants thus it takes longer for the body to heal if break a bone or cut our finger. It is harder also to recover from a cold or infection because the body loses some of its ability to recognize foreign bacteria, viruses and etc. and it will start to attack some of it healthy cells. Our system begins to slow down and response slower, our blood begins to be pumped less, there is a decrease in the functioning of our respiratory system, vision decreases and so do our hearing ability. Our bones become weak, arthritis becomes common due to less cartilage in-between the joints, our sensory system weakens which causes elder to often lose their balance,
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Berger (2008) state that late adulthood, which begins at age 65, is the final stage of the life span development process that culminates through the death of an individual. During the course of the twentieth century the notion of late adulthood changed significantly (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). The average person’s life expectancy increased probably by 30 years. This changed the proportion of North Americans over 65 years from 1900s one in 30 to a projection by the year 2040 that it will be one in five. This drastically changed the perceptions of late adulthood (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). For example,
“Though the age boundaries are not set in stone, we will consider middle adulthood as the developmental period that begins at approximately 40 to 45 years of age and extends to about 60 to 65 years of age” (Santrock, 2013, p. 485). I interviewed two individuals for this paper. Each person was asked the same fifteen questions (Appendix). I interviewed a male and a female who fell in the midrange of middle adulthood.
Erikson’s (1968, 1980, 1982) psychosocial stages of development provide a framework for the different stages of development throughout the human lifespan. These stages of development begin at birth and continue until death, and separate the lifespan into eight stages based on chronological age. Within these eight different aging stages are corresponding psychosocial stages. Each of these psychosocial stages represent a conflict between two characteristics of development for that particular time period in a person’s life.
From looking at the graph above I can predicted that in the next 26 years the life expectancy is going to increase. The reason for this is because there will be better technology around. People will start to know more about their health, meaning they will know what to do if they become sick. The hospitals will have better equipment which will mean that people will get better quickly. This will also mean that the machines that were used 10-20 years ago would not have been as strong as it will be now and over the next 26 years. There will be more advertisements on TV on how to have a healthy diet which will be helpful to a lot of people.
Ageism is any attitudes, actions, or institutional structure which subordinates a person or group because of their age or any assignment of roles in society purely on the basis of age. It typically reflects a prejudice in society against older adults. The concept of aging varies across different cultures as different countries have varying demographic statistics such as Japan and Italy having significant part of their population above the age of 60 versus most countries in Africa who have significant parts of their population below the age of 30. Most research on ageism is done on children, adolescents, or young adults with few studies on actual older adults. Age is increasingly becoming a more positive concept, yet older people are still stereotyped. The three theories in sociology about aging are disengagement, activity, and continuity.
With the advances in medical care, better health practices, improved nutrition, and other factors help people live longer. As long as older adults are following the correct measures, they can help counter the effects of aging because this stage here most people retire, they need to stay active and keep eating healthy foods. By not living actively can lead to his or her body shutting down, and may also lead to an early death. Many programs are available that older adults can join to
This stage in the life span is considered the time when a person moves from the childhood stage into the adulthood stage. During this time there are many physical, cognitive, and personality developments that affect the
Late adulthood is a time many people tend to suppress in their minds. Late adulthood is often considered a time of physical and mental decline, but in reality for many older adults it is a time of mental and spiritual growth. During late adulthood, people tend to start reflecting on their lives and what is really important. During younger ages, people tend to focus on things that may not matter in the future, and spend time worrying about things that are unimportant. Through interviewing older adults, younger people can learn several important life lessons and begin to appreciate the things that really matter in life.
As human beings age, according to Erik Erikson, they go through developmental stages that help to create and transform their personalities. If needs are met and the ego is gratified, then the individual is able to move on to the next challenge. Onward they march in life and in stage until they find the end level: integrity versus despair. This has been categorized as adults 65 years and older by Erikson. Here, people are to reminisce and judge their lives in terms of merit or disappointment. Erikson himself had a lot to comb through in his later years.
The stage that follows early adulthood is known as middle adulthood where people are generally caught between being productive and being stagnant. This stage reflects the need to create a living legacy: they would either need to feel they have become an important figure for the next generation to follow or they would develop a sense of purposelessness which is generally known as a “mid-life crisis”. This crisis can be solved by having the adults care and nurture children or help the fore-coming generation in other ways or means, however if the crisis remains the person would persist in random non-age-appropriate behavior as well as a continued feeling in stagnation. During this stage adults lose some of their physical aspects as their muscular strength, ability and agility weakens. Women will go through a menopausal
Middle-aged adults experience change in many different areas of their life at this time, they will find that not only their health is changing, but their appearance, their family, their thinking, and their emotions are changes as well. When discussing people that fall into the middle adulthood age of life, the term “midlife crisis” is often used, but according to an article titled Middle Adulthood Developmental Psychology, “most people during middle adulthood are satisfied and pleased with their lives”, ("Physical Changes," 2008-2013, expression 1). This article also states that the age range for middle adulthood is approximately age thirty-five to sixty-four. Midlife crisis is a when an individual views themselves and are unhappy with
Knowing and having an understanding of what ageing stands for, remains an important step, growing-up or growing older and ageism are theories about older individuals. Ageism includes preconceptions that elderly are categorized for their age and perceived as weak, and incapable of performing tasks and needy of others (Quadagno, 2014). Another view about elderly individuals is the way they are looked down on by the younger society, i.e. elderly are not as intelligent as their younger competitive working force. People fear what they do not know and do not understand. Age transpires as something that must be lived through in order to understand what ageing means; looking back on one’s life and seeing accomplishments made,
Humanity has come a long way as we evolve and adapt to the changing environment. Through the years, we have managed to overcome several limitations, which in the past were nothing more than dreams. We succeeded in landing on the moon and communicating over long distance, yet there are still some boundaries we have yet to cross despite our best effort. Aging is an inevitable process of nature. While we cannot stop the ticking clock in our body, we have made it possible for aging to be delayed and relieved to a great extent through advance technology and modern governance. High-tech equipments and medications are available for the treatments of more illnesses as our understanding of medicine improves and governments nowadays are doing