Late Adulthood and Death

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Late Adulthood and Death
Riley Dodgens
Sonya Glover
Jessica Larochelle
Connie Wimbush
Patrice Stephenson
Psy/280
May 24, 2011
Dr.Christine Karper

Late Adulthood and Death
In this day and time, in reference to science and technology, late adulthood is a stage of life that most of us will be involved in, yet death is an event we all will experience. Within the contents of the paper we will address ageism and the stereotypes affiliated with the period of late adulthood. Moreover, there will also be an evaluation on how health and wellness can be stimulated and on the moderation of the adverse effects of aging. Also included will be the importance of relationships and social interactions as analyzed in accordance to an individual approaching the end of life. Finally, concluding with the cultural and personal attitudes concerning death and dignity to be identified in the stage of late adulthood. The style of aging in America is not a graceful one. Aging is filled with constant efforts to fight off the process. Americans have been taught that success belongs to youth. It has become a natural thing to treat the elderly, like the end of what was once good material. “Old people are categorized as senile, rigid in thought and manner, old fashioned in morality and skills. Ageism and the fear of ageing are rampant in modern western society” (Robert Butler, p. 1, 2006). Most everyone will experience old age. Scientist has predicted that the average life expectancy could be over 100 years, by the end of the next century, according to Robert Butler.

Ageing is not only seen as being one step closer to death, but it is also associated with the stereotypes of late adulthood. Society views old age as being sickly, when they are perfectly healthy. Incompetent, assuming that the elderly can no longer contribute to society, when their minds are sharp as ever... Although late adulthood is considered to be around age 65 this is not a time for one to become bitter or disillusioned. Many older people are happy and engaged in at least one activity, if not more, as society becomes more accepting of the older generation they will adjust better to the process of ageing, and are less likely to become depressed, lonely, and unhappy. Support groups and counseling can help with successfully working through aging and the late adulthood process.

Americans have fought in wars that ensured our continued freedom, both young and old alike, and marched in civil rights protest. America’s obsession with youth has blinded our citizens to the wisdom, experience, and emotional support that older people have to offer. The younger generation can benefit immensely from the friendship, and mentorship of an older citizen. Older Americans who share his or her personal stories of war, poverty, and perseverance will plant the seeds of respect and compassion in our youth. In late adulthood, individuals can promote health and wellness by eating nutritious foods. It is important that late adulthood individuals receive the proper kinds of nutrients because the body becomes less efficient in digesting food, and nutrients. Exercising can help the muscles work properly because as individuals age, the muscles start to stiffen; making the range of motion diminish (Stassen, 2010). In late adulthood an individual’s health changes, for example, sensory organs become weak. A decline in hearing or vision, and the taste of food can weaken; this can be caused from the decline of tasted buds on the tongue. High blood pressure can be caused by poor nutrition; this can lead to a stroke. Another health issue that may arise is cognitive changes; neural and motor skill start to slow down or decline; especially with the onset of a disease such as Alzheimer’s disease; causes memory loss, and dementia as well as lead to loss of muscle control, and even confinement to bed. Bone mass can start to diminish...
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