June 25, 2012
Late adulthood can be a great challenge for people to adapt to. During this phase of human lifespan, from age 65 until death, one may find it hard to accept that he or she will die and leave behind his or her life. The thought of death is strong in late adulthood because dying is the inevitable and may seem closer everyday of life. The views on death change during different phases of human lifespan development. Along with accepting death is dealing with all of the stereotypes that come with aging. Late adulthood can be a cruel experience for some people because they may be victims of ageism in more than one aspect of their life. Ageism Ageism, according to Berger, (2008) is a prejudice in which people are categorized and judged solely based on their age. During late adulthood senses and motor functions have deteriorated much more than in middle adulthood, which may lead to stereotypes. For example, one was driving on the freeway in the fast lane and comes up behind a car traveling at a much slower speed. As one passes the slower paced car and notices the slow driver is and older adult, one usually makes assumptions and comments based on the driver’s old appearance. Another example of elderly ageism is employment. Employers often do not hire people in their late adulthood because most employers are searching for young employees who can handle duties faster than an old person. People think that elders in late adulthood are slower and do not understand regular speech, which causes a condescending manner of speech patterns when speaking to old people. For example, when some people speak in loud volumes while holding a conversation with an elder person is known as elderspeak (Berger, 2008). Other forms of elderspeak are when one speaks in baby talk, exaggerated emphasis, slower talk, and frequent...
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