Late adulthood

Category: Education

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Late Adulthood:

Late Adulthood 1


Outline… Definition of late adulthood Physical changes Signs of aging Psychological Problems Cognitive changes Emotional and Social Development in Late Adulthood (Theories) A Changing Social World 2

Late Adulthood…:

Late Adulthood… Late adulthood (old age) is generally considered to begin at about age 65. 3

Late Adulthood…:

Late Adulthood… Gains Wisdom Growth with the Lord Experience Integrity Becoming grandparents Inner strength Losses Loss of brain cells Loss of intellectual capabilities Loss of energy Loss of sex drive Loss of friends & family 4

Physical changes…:

Physical changes… suffer impaired eyesight, & cataracts and macular degeneration hearing difficulties taste and odor sensitivity decline, making food less appealing touch sensitivity also deteriorates, particularly on the fingertips immune system functions less effectively older adults find it harder to fall asleep, stay asleep, & sleep deeply 5

Signs of aging…:

Signs of aging… white hair wrinkled and sagging skin Age spots Decreased height and weight Blood vessels can be seen beneath the more transparent skin 6

Psychological Problems…:

Psychological Problems… A result of cumulative losses Declining health may contribute to psychological problems Anxiety may be caused by inappropriate drug dosage Changes in metabolism The effects of drug interaction 7

Dementia Causes for Cognitive Decline…:

Dementia Causes for Cognitive Decline… 1- Primary Causes Alzheimer’s Disease Strokes 2- Secondary Causes Mental health Depression Judgment about our abilities 8

Alzheimer’s Disease…:

Alzheimer’s Disease… Progressive brain disorder that produces loss of memory and confusion Drugs only help about 20% Symptoms: Unusual forgetfulness Trouble recalling certain words First recent memory goes, then older ones Confusion and inability to recognize family members Loss of muscle control 9

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease…:

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease… The brain shrinks Several areas of the hippocampus and frontal and temporal lobes deteriorate Certain neurons die and create a lack of acetylcholine It runs in families 10

Cognitive changes…:

Cognitive changes… Response speeds (neural and motor) have been reported to decline; some researchers believe that age-related decrease in working memory is the crucial factor underlying poorer performance by the elderly on cognitive tasks. 11

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Intellectual changes in late adulthood do not always result in reduction of ability. (A) fluid intelligence (the ability to see and to use patterns and relationships to solve problems) does decline in later years, (B) crystallized intelligence (the ability to use accumulated information to solve problems and make decisions) has been shown to rise slightly over the entire life span. 12

Emotional and Social Development in Late Adulthood:

Emotional and Social Development in Late Adulthood Erikson’s Theory  Integrity vs. Despair Peck’s Theory  three Tasks of Ego Integrity Labouvie-Vief’s Theory  Emotional Expertise 13

Erikson’s Theory…:

Erikson’s Theory… Ego Integrity vs. Despair is the final stage of life. If there is a sense of integrity, people feel whole, complete, and satisfied with their life choices and achievements. They have accepted the setbacks and disappointments and celebrated the successes and found a way to meaning within all these life events. 14

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Despair, on the other hand occurs when seniors feel they have made wrong decisions, but life is too short to remedy any life directions. They display bitterness, defeat and anxiety about death, a hopelessness. Their contempt for themselves is displayed as anger toward others. It is a sad cycle. 15

Peck’s Theory: three Tasks of Ego Integrity:

Peck’s Theory: three Tasks of Ego Integrity Ego differentiation vs. work-role preoccupation . This task comes out of retirement, as people who have been invested in careers find other ways to self-worth. They must find another role to invest in and find meaning. 16

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Body transcendence vs. body preoccupation . This task requires finding a way to transcend physical limitations, disabilities, loss of youth and beauty, to find value in cognitive, social strengths & relationships. Ego transcendence vs. ego preoccupation. This task involves finding a constructive way of facing the reality of death. Elders must find a future beyond their own mortality, through giving back to a younger generation. 17

Labouvie-Vief’s Theory: Emotional Expertise:

Labouvie-Vief’s Theory: Emotional Expertise Early adulthood is all about pragmatic choices- finding ways to solve real-world problems, at work as well as within relationships. Elders are becoming more in touch with their feelings and must use those feelings to reflect on their life experiences. 18

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This emotional sensitivity allows elders to detach from experiences in order to choose better how to respond. Younger people are more impulsively emotional in their coping and problem-solving. Elders are better at emotional self-regulation. 19

A Changing Social World…:

A Changing Social World… Social Theories of Aging Disengagement Theory Activity theory Socioemotional Selectivity Theory 20

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Disengagement Theory- the idea that social interaction declines because of mutual withdrawal between elders and society in anticipation of death. But not everyone disengages. 21

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Activity theory is the theory that there are social barriers to engagement, not just the desires of elders to disengage. Offering older adults opportunities for social contact does not guarantee greater sociability. 22

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Socioemotional Selectivity Theory states that social networks become more selective as we age. People limit their contacts to familiar partners with whom they have the most rewarding relationships. 23

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