Later Adulthood Development Paper
March 3, 2014
Richard VanCleave, Instructor
The more things stay the same, the more they change. People can relate this meaning to many different things in life, such as age, jobs, and living environments. In everyday life people continue to age through different stages of childhood, and eventually into late adulthood. When people reach the later adulthood stage, they start thinking about end of life and where they want to spend their last years. For many people, this will mean a transition into a nursing home facility, and dealing with all the changes of no longer being fully independent. It is important that the person’s family is being well informed and has an understanding of the changes ahead.
The transition from work to retirement is a new phase of life. “Retirement is different today. In the past, it meant a slowing down of activity and the completion of work life.”(cornellcares, 2006). In later adulthood, there is a transition from working all the time to staying home and not doing anything. Some people work 12 hours a day with 3 or 4 jobs, and just to come to a complete stop of not doing anything, can depress a person or sometimes kill a person.
Working too much keeps your heart rate up, then when you retire with no job and have nothing to do, it slows down your heart rate. You hear about so many later adulthood men and women dying because of retirement. Their bodies start to relax and they act more like they are tired. When people retire, they go through life changes, such as physical and emotional changes. “Retirement requires a psychological adjustment and often leads to moodiness and anxiety in the first months after leaving the job. Retirees should recognize that these feelings are normal.”(ProQuest). Some may want to go back to work after retirement, but they lack the necessary education and skills to do so. There are always constant changes in marriage, family, and peer relationships. Relationships with friends become more important than family relationships in old age. Arling (1976), for example, found that relationships with friends were more strongly related to morale than were relationships with family members. When you start your later adulthood stage, some families disown the older family members because they do not want to take the responsibility of taking care of the family member in need. It seems that friends will be there more than some family members will. The later adulthood stage is when a person starts losing friends by death. Family members start to die off or move away, and some family members do not want to deal with health issues of aging adults or having to place them in a nursing home. It is important for people to love their friends and family members, and help them out when they are in the stage of later adulthood. It is every parent’s hope that when they have children, just as they care for them, the children will take care of the parents when they get to later adulthood. When a person reaches later adulthood, changes in roles and social position can have a profound effect. For the older adult, some adjustments must be made to realize self-worth and maintain a healthy emotional attitude. One of the first obstacles that older adults are met with is the inability to sustain gainful employment. Coupled with the fact that there are no longer children in the household to care for, this can make a person in older adulthood feel incompetent, less valued, and wondering what the future holds. Confrontation with the reality of illness and imminent death, and the possibility of moving to assisted living can take a toll on the older person’s self-esteem.
Social roles of adults are often altered once a person reaches the age of 65 or older. What once was considered a time of strong social identity in the way of parent, employee or employer, best friend, or teacher, can become a...
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