Chapter 25

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Chapter 25

  1. 1. Kathleen Stassen Berger Part VIII Chapter Twenty-Five Late Adulthood: Psychosocial Development Theories of Late Adulthood Coping with Retirement Friends and Relatives The Frail Elderly Prepared by Madeleine Lacefield Tattoon, M.A. 1
  2. 2. Late Adulthood: Psychosocial Development • the range of possibilities for life after age 65 is vast, greater than at any earlier age • people in late adulthood take comfort in: – family – pleasure in their daily routines – current events 2
  3. 3. Theories of Late Adulthood • Self Theories – theories of late adulthood that emphasize the core self, or the search to maintain one’s integrity and identity 3
  4. 4. Theories of Late Adulthood • Integrity Versus Despair – the final stage of Erik Erikson’s developmental sequence, in which older adults seek to integrate their unique experience with their vision of community 4
  5. 5. Theories of Late Adulthood • Identity theory – Erikson’s fifth stage, identity versus role confusion—each new experience, each gain or loss, requires a reassessment of identity – identity is challenged in old age – the usual pillars of self-concept crumble • appearance, health and employment 5
  6. 6. Theories of Late Adulthood • Selective Optimization – this concept is central to self theories— individuals can set goals, assess their own abilities, and figure out how to accomplish what they want to achieve despite the limitation and declines of later life 6
  7. 7. Theories of Late Adulthood • Stratification Theories – theories that emphasize that social forces, particularly those related to a person’s social stratum or social category, limit individual choices and affect the ability to function in late adulthood as past stratification continues to limit life in various ways 7
  8. 8. Theories of Late Adulthood • Stratification by Age – as they grow older, people may be consigned to their own places and activities – industrialized nations segregate older people 8
  9. 9. Theories of Late Adulthood • Stratification by Age – disengagement theory • the view that aging makes a person’s social sphere increasingly narrow, resulting in role relinquishment, withdrawal, and passivity – activity theory • the view that elderly people want and need to remain active in a variety of social spheres— with relatives, friends, and community groups— and become withdrawn only unwillingly, as a result of ageism 9
  10. 10. Theories of Late Adulthood • Stratification by Gender – feminist theory draws attention to gender separation – a disproportionate number of the elderly are female – everywhere older women are segregated and as a result poorer than old men 10
  11. 11. Theories of Late Adulthood • Ethnic Discrimination – critical race theory sees ethnicity and race as “social construct whose practical utility is determined by a particular society or social system” – long-standing ethnic discrimination and racism results in stratification, shaping experience and attitude throughout the life span: 11
  12. 12. Theories of Late Adulthood • Better to Be Female, Non-European, and Old? – African and Hispanic Americans are often nurtured and respected within their families and churches – Asian and Hispanic elders often outlive European American contemporaries 12
  13. 13. Theories of Late Adulthood • Dynamic Theories – focus on the transformations of late adulthood and on how individuals react to such events – dynamic theories • theories of psychosocial development that emphasize change and readjustment rather than either the ongoing self or the impact of stratification—each person’s life is seen as an active, ever-changing, largely self-propelled process, occurring within specific social contexts that they themselves are constantly changing – continuity theory • the theory that each person experiences the changes of late adulthood and behaves toward others in much the same way he or she did in earlier periods of life 13
  14. 14. Coping with Retirement • Deciding When to Retire – social scientists and political leaders have assumed that older adults wanted employment – recent sociological and psychological research has found that most older adults want to stop working as soon as they are eligible 14
  15. 15. Coping with Retirement • Retirement and Marriage – research says that it is best for both spouses to retire together – neither is satisfied if the other is still working and making family decisions 15
  16. 16. Coping with Retirement • Aging in Place – refers to a preference of elderly people to remain in the same home and community, adjusting but not leaving when health fades 16
  17. 17. Coping with Retirement • Continuing Education – retirement offers the time and opportunity to take classes – 1 out of 4 U.S. adults age 66 and older were enrolled in continuing education in 2005 17
  18. 18. Coping with Retirement • Volunteer Work – is suitable for elderly people who have adequate pensions or other sources of income – volunteering allows the elderly to gain status and to find “new meaning…” 18
  19. 19. Coping with Retirement • Religious Involvement – studies show that religious involvement of all kinds correlates with physical and emotional health as well as long life 19
  20. 20. Coping with Retirement • Political Activism – the elderly are more politically active – frequently write to their elected representatives – vote in off-year elections – identify with a political party – join groups that lobby 20
  21. 21. Coping with Retirement • AARP – a U.S. organization of people aged 50 and older, which advocates for the elderly—it was originally called the American Association of Retired Person, but now only the acronym AARP is used, to reflect the fact that the organization’s members do not have to be retired 21
  22. 22. Friends and Relatives – social convoy • collectively, the family members, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers who move through life with an individual 22
  23. 23. Friends and Relatives • Long-Term Marriages – a spouse buffers against the problems of old age and extends life – personal happiness increases with the quality of the marriage or intimate relationship – mutual respect 23
  24. 24. Friends and Relatives • Losing a Spouse – widowhood among elderly is common and problematic—especially the first two years after death – women tend to marry older men and live longer than men 24
  25. 25. Friends and Relatives • Relationships with Younger Generations – older adults live to see two or more generations of younger family members – more adults are having one child—many children will have no aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, or sisters 25
  26. 26. Friends and Relatives • Adult Children – engagement and interaction are common between older adults and their grown children – intergenerational relationships are affected by many factors in general • assistance arises both from need and from the ability to provide • personal contact depends mostly on geographical proximity • affection is influenced by the pair’s history of mutual love and respect • sons feel stronger obligation; daughters feel stronger affection 26
  27. 27. Friends and Relatives • Adult Children – as parent grow older, every family needs to adjust to changing conditions and circumstance renegotiating relationships – filial responsibility • the idea that adult children are obligated to care for their aging parents 27
  28. 28. Friends and Relatives • Grandchildren – ongoing grandparent-grandchild relationships usually reveal one of three approaches to grandparenting • remote grandparents • companionate grandparents • involved grandparents 28
  29. 29. Friends and Relatives • Friendship – quality, not quantity, of friendship is crucial – having at least one close confidant acts as a buffer against many forms of lost status, poor health and reduced companionship 29
  30. 30. The Frail Elderly • frail elderly – people over age 65 who are physically infirm, very ill, or cognitively impaired 30
  31. 31. The Frail Elderly • activities of daily life (ADL) – actions that are important to independent living, typically consisting of five tasks of self-care; eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, and transferring from a bed to a chair—the inability to perform any of these tasks is a sign of frailty 31
  32. 32. The Frail Elderly • instrumental activities of daily life (IADL) – actions that are important to independent living and that require some intellectual competence and forethought—the ability to perform these tasks is even more critical to self- sufficiency than ADL ability 32
  33. 33. The Frail Elderly • Instrumental Activities of Daily Life (IADL) 33
  34. 34. Caring for the Frail Elderly • The Demands of Family Care – often caregivers of the elderly are themselves elderly – caregivers often experience substantial stress – sometimes caregivers feel fulfilled by their experiences – designated caregivers are often chosen less for practical reason than because of cultural expectation – respite care • an arrangement in which a professional caregiver relieves a frail elderly person’s usual family caregiver for a few hours each day or for an occasional weekend 34
  35. 35. Caring for the Frail Elderly • Elder Abuse – analysis of elder abuse is complicated because three distinct elements contribute to the problem: • the victim • the abuser • the setting 35
  36. 36. Caring for the Frail Elderly • Long-Term Care – assistant living • provides some of the privacy and independence of living at home, along with some medical supervision 36

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