Late Adulthood

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Late Adulthood and Death
Crystal Leden
Psy/280
February 20, 2013
Shannon Hilligoss

Late Adulthood and Death

In this paper I will be looking at ageism and stereotypes that associated with late adulthood, evaluating how people in late adulthood can promote health and wellness to help prevent the negative effects of aging. I will also be analyzing the importance of relationships and social interactions towards the end of a person’s life and identifying the cultural and personal attitudes about death and dignity in late adulthood.
The word ageism means anyone over 60.Ageism is a form of prejudice where people are categorized based on their age. There are more differences in development in late adulthood than in the other stages. At this point in life some people can do anything they set their mind to do, but others cannot even get out of bed on their own. This could be due to how they view themselves or their “self-theory”. Self-theory is basically what a person thinks of their self and what they can do on their own. According Erik Erikson this is the final stage in his eight stages of life, he calls this the integrity versus despair. He feels that this age either a person is happy with their life or they are not and that they want to share their story with their family and people around them.
The most common stereotype is that older people are grumpy, tired, weak, and need other people to take care of them. However there are not as many stereotypes today as there were in the past, but they are still around. Some younger people may use what is called “elder speak”. They may talk louder, use almost a form of baby talk, or even talk slower, people seem to think that this helps the older person better understand what they are saying. Even some social workers or case managers may use this form of speech with elderly people until they get to know them. Ageism and stereotypes can also have effects on an older persons health, they may not go get the medical



References: 1. Erickson, J., & Johnson, G. M. (2011). Internet Use and Psychological Wellness during Late Adulthood. Canadian Journal On Aging, 30(2), 197-209. doi:10.1017/S0714980811000109 2. Lobar, S., Youngblut, J., & Brooten, D. (2006). Cross-cultural beliefs, ceremonies, and rituals surrounding death of a loved one. Pediatric Nursing, 32(1), 44-50. 3. Taylor, R., & Chatters, L. M. (1986). Patterns of Informal Support to Elderly Black Adults: Family, Friends, and Church Members. Social Work, 31(6), 432-438.

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