Late Adulthood and Death
According to Erikson stages of human development, late adulthood stage is between the ages 65 to death (Erikson, 1982). This stage is ego integrity versus despair involves individual to look back over one’s life and feel a sense of contentment and satisfaction (Erikson, 1982). Success at this stage leads to feeling of wisdom and failure to achieve results in bitterness, regret, and despair. This negative resolution manifests itself as a fear of death, a sense that life is too- short, and depression (Erikson, 1982). Ageism is a form of discrimination to elders solely judged on their chronological age. Ageism has been described as "thinking or believing in a negative manner about the process of becoming old or about old people" (Doty, 1987, p. 231). Ageism includes negative stereotypes, beliefs, and attitudes toward elderly. Stereotypes can be positive and negative but people tend to hold more negative beliefs than positive about aging. Negative stereotypes and attitudes influence elderly to develop specific expectation and self-efficacy beliefs about their task performance. This belief affects their performance. Negative and repeated messages communicated to many older adults erode their sense of self-esteem and identity during the late adulthood years. People view elderly as socially sensitive as well as physically and cognitively incompetent (Butler, 1980). Good mental and physical health is important in determining an elderly person’s sense of well-being. Activities of daily life often include working and socializing as well as self-care in late adulthood. High physical and cognitive function capacity, low probability of disability or disease, and active engagement with life are most important component to successful aging. Eating right, maintaining weight, and exercising daily can help elderly live a longer and healthier life. Regular checkup, taking medication, overcoming depression, avoiding smoking, and alcohol can also prolong...
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