Late Adulthood and End of Life

Topics: Death, Old age, Ageing Pages: 5 (1638 words) Published: April 26, 2011
Late Adulthood and End of Life
University of Phoenix
March 7, 2011

Late Adulthood and End of Life
When a person reaches late adulthood it is natural to reflect back on the achievements and failures of their life. Questions like, have I made a mark on this world? Have I made a difference in the lives of my family and friends? The answers to these questions will depend on the way one judges if their life was something to be proud of or to regret. When a person gets to the end of their life, whether they had a life of faith in God or not, the way they feel about the life they lived will determine if the last days of their life are filled with dread and trepidation or hope, contentment, and peace. When the disappointments over shadow older people’s lives it leaves them feeling their lives have been wasted, leaving them feeling a sense of despair and bitterness towards the world around them and not ready to accept death when the time comes. Late adulthood is the time when those who feel no sense of self-worth continue to focus on the negative things that have happened within their lives instead of being ready to look back on their life as a lesson (Vaillant , 2002). These individuals have a difficult time accepting their lives will soon be over but instead wonder and worry about what their real purpose in life was all about. Most who view their lives this way either fear death. Late adulthood in many peoples life is a time when they take stock of the accomplishments in their life and enjoy the fruits of their labors, whether it is the family they have, or the wealth they have acquired. Hopefully the end of one’s life will be filled with happy memories instead of regrets. Older individual’s bodies have endured many changes throughout the years, some of these changes were predisposed and dependent upon certain genetic factors while others were developed and acquired over time. In late adulthood the average individual will experience a number of physical, mental, emotional, health, societal, and cultural impacts that can have an influence on the way they live, perceive and present them self, how they interact with others, and their ability to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life. These are the years that individuals should continue to remain active not only physically but mentally as well. By continuing to remain an active player in the game of life this gives them the opportunity to continue to use the physical skills they have acquired by continuing to remain physically active these individuals have a better chance at living a longer, healthier, and happier life. An individual’s health and activity level can make the difference in how long abilities can be maintained and what their quality of life will be. Physical activities do not have to be too strenuous for individuals as long as they continue to utilize muscles that have taken years to develop and strengthen. Mental activities can consist of anything that will increase the amount of information the brain intakes which can help to stimulate growth in the brain. Health is a bigger issue in late adulthood stage since their bodies have gone through many changes and depending on how well they have taken care of themselves over the years will be a determining factor in whether or not there are any health issues (Vaillant , 2002). Cardiovascular health is very important because people who suffer from heart disease tend to decline early in their mental abilities. When there are cognitive declines in individuals it affects the way they take in information, how fast information is processed, their ability to store new information and the ability to block out irrelevant material. The aging process causes deterioration in various aspects of an older person’s memory performance causing individuals to have problems in maintaining, receiving and comprehending new information. Activities are popular in this stage since many people are retired by now and...

References: Birren, J. & Schaie, K. (2006). Handbook of the psychology of aging. (6th Ed.). SanDiego: Elsevier.
Boyd, D., & Bee, H. (2006). Adult development. Boston: Allyn & BaconCoon, D. (2001). Introduction to psychology: Gateways to mind and behavior. (9th Ed.).
Vaillant, G. (2002). Aging well. New York: Little, Brown, and Company.
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