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The Aging Process

By sofiaMenendez Apr 14, 2013 1594 Words
Objectives
* Describe the general characteristics of the period from 20 through 39. * Explain what midlife transition is.
* Describe family relationships and crises during the midlife adulthood period. * Explain the problems with our attitude toward death.

Defining Adulthood
Adulthood is not just one time of life but many. Adulthood can be divided into different periods. For convince we will call the ages 20 to 39 early adulthood, 40 to 59 middle adulthood, and from age 60 to late adulthood. A person’s actual age may well be less important than that person’s experiences and outlook on life. Early Adulthood: 20-39

Some star earlier and other later, sometimes during their 20s and 30s, most people take on the adult responsibilities of marriage, career, and children. A sense of identity is gained through these duties, and this makes young adults more stable and less insecure than adolescence. They take responsibility seriously, and they can make personal decisions about their own lives. Marriage and Divorce

Despite the somewhat shaky image of the institution of marriage, nearly everyone does marry and expect that marriage to last. Mutual respect, a term that encompasses a great deal. Respect means that you view others as important people. Mutual Respect means that two people both give and receive these things. It means that you treat the other person with consideration, not demeaning or insulting him or her. Without mutual respect a marriage simply cannot work. Among the majority of couples today, both work outside the home. For those who divorce, the odds are overwhelming that the mother will have custody of the children. Customarily, the fathers have visitations rights and the obligations of child support. The Children often feel abandoned or rejected by their father if he is no longer involved in their lives Family Life

While their careers may also be important, most young adult women, according to statics, focus more on their families. In marriage, women take care of more family obligations than men do. In early adulthood, men still tend to focus mostly on their careers, but they are also more involved in their family life than used to be the case. They spend more time with their children and are less likely to always let the job come first. In the 1960s, en whose wives were employed did about 20 percent of the work around the house.

Midlife Transition
Young adults eventually enter middle adulthood, but the progression is not always smooth. In the US, the age of 49 signals the true beginning of “middle age.” However in the Midlife, there is often a sense of urgency involved. As people realize that they are no longer young, they begin to think in terms of how many years they have left. They start to focus on signs of physical decline and an awareness of aging. Not everyone become miserable and depressed. For some people, this is the time for reassessing their life’s goals and refocusing their energies on new interests and activities. For others, it is the time if terrible upheaval and loss of purpose. Midlife crisis is not inevitable.

Middle Adulthood: 40-59
Men become more emotionally expressive and warm, more giving of themselves than before. Relationships begin to be more important than career or money. Women are growing more independent and assertive, more determined to go out in their own and do what they want to do instead of making so many compromises for the family. For a while, this situation can create conflicts. As the husband turns to his family to develop his more tender side, the wife is out pursuing her own interests. Marital satisfaction is at an all time low. The Empty Nest Period

The empty Nest Period is the time of life after the children leave home, mothers especially feel useless and depressed when the children leave and the “nest” is empty. Most studies now show that the majority of women do not have these feelings; some women do suffer from the problem. Menopause

In their late 40s to early 50s, women go through a period commonly called the change of life or menopause Menstruation and ovulation gradually stop as the result of dramatic decline in the production of female hormones. Since both men and women have both, men and females hormones, this means that as the female hormone diminishes, the male hormone becomes more dominant. Physical symptoms include hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, and occasional heart palpitation. Some women experience menopause acne. Late Adulthood

As we grow older, we attempt to bring the pieces of our lives together, to reflect on all that we have done, to see ourselves as part of the cycle of life on Earth. Some of the major tasks we face include adjusting to an increased number of deaths among friends, accepting what we have not be able to do and preparing for our own eventually death. Along with the great increase of older people has come a major expansion in a branch of psychology called gerontology which is the study of aging and older people. The Aging Process

As a culture we put a premium on youthfulness to ridiculous degree, people in other countries fight aging, but most recognize that older people may have grown wiser from their vast experience and should be valued and sought out for this wisdom. Cellular Time Clocks

Life span for different species is programmed. Today individual people are not really living longer than people in the past did, but more people are living into old age. As we age, our bodily functions slow down, problems with vision and healing are likely to get worse, and we are more prone to disease and injury. This occurs because body cells have internal time clock that dictate how long each particular type of cell will continue to function and replace itself. Toward the end of the life span of a member, of any species, the cells have notably degenerated. Mental Ability of the Aged

Health is an important factor in mental ability. Disease or accident, rather than aging itself, is responsible for most of the serious memory problems. One often-neglected consideration is nutrition. Old age does not automatically indicate a decline an intellectual ability or achievement. It is incorrect to assume that intelligence declines with age. Brain Damage is very hard to diagnose without evidence of disease or injury. Somewhere between 15 and 30 % of those diagnosed as having senile dementia in reality are suffering from other problems.

Concerns in Old Age
Survival in old age is clearly related to having minimal physical and economic dependence on others. Most elderly people desire self sufficiency as well as some degree of freedom and activity. Their needs are clearly tied to the most basic fears they have: Poor health, Social Isolation, and Loss of feeling meaningful to society. Retirement

Most retired people like their new lives. People may think that the older someone is, the less active that person will be after retiring, but actually, age is not a very good predictor. Isolation and bereavement

Social isolation is a fear old people have. Overall our society leaves a great deal to be desired in terms of its approach to the aging, individual families do a pretty job: the majority of old people are not isolated, withdrawn or lonesome. Attitudes toward Old Age

Young People are viewing aging in a better light, probably because older people today are so much more active no longer periods of time than used to be the case.

Thanatology
Thanatology is the study of death; it emphasized making death a natural part of the life cycle. Dying people should be an active part of the family as much as possible; there is much criticism of how we handle death in this country. One of the most common complaints from thanatologists is that our society refuses to admit that death exists. In cases of terminal illness, a number of studies have shown that mist old or dying people eventually came to accept death as a natural process, and they are more concerned about making preparations for the end than about the end itself. People are afraid of three main things: loss of mastery over oneself, separation from loved ones, and the gnawing fear of being replaced by another. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross proposed that people who are terminally ill go through a series of stages, first they deny that they are dying, then they feel anger that is happening to them, Third people try to bargain with God for a little more time, Fourth they become depressed, and finally they adopt a more or less peaceful acceptance of our attitude toward the whole event. Conclusions

* Midlife transition is the part of life when you are entering to the age of 40s, and you need to know what you want for your life usually you have to have your life done. Midlife crisis is not inevitable. * Marriage and Divorce becomes common in early adulthood, people don’t know what they want and become indecisive. * We are afraid of dying alone, or only of dying that we think that we can run away from it. People get afraid of dying and think that they have to live their final days the best they can, when they realize that dying is inevitable they don’t have another way than accepting it and they go through different process.

Annexes

Early Adulthood. People take their responsibilities seriously.

Midlife: taking stock

Issues Regarding Death
Most old people are not lonely, but the possibility of loneliness is there and can be desvasting.

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