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They say that the category of middle age will start later and will last longer than before; due to the longevity the age groups are stretched out further. Life expectancy of older adults has increased significantly (about 30 years) due to improved medical treatment, lifestyle changes and a better diet with exercise. Along with progresses in health, the explanation for the growing older adult population is due to the substantial reduction of infant deaths from recent decades (Santrock, 2012).
A myth that deals with aging seems to be the older you get the sicker you become. Some who have become centenarians exposed that regardless of their physical limits they still have worthy cognitive health. Society may also think that the ‘oldest-old’, or those who are 85+, and the young-old, those between the ages of 65-84 years, differentiate in cognitive and physical functioning. Stereotypes like the oldest-old have a decreased ability to function rather than a young-old individual being more physically or cognitive active. It all depends on the individual because the age description could be chronological, biological, psychological or social; so an 85 year old may be more biologically and psychologically fit than a 65 year old (Santrock, 2012). Those who are physically healthy can stimulate better memory function, so someone who is active at 80 can have better neurological function than someone who is 65-70. Older adults may also refuse to retire early (around the age of 65), the majority will work as much as possible.
Individuals older than 65 are still out in the workforce due to the fear of not having sufficient funds to support them during their retirement; there are more full time positions being filled by older adults than part-time positions. It’s also much easier for them to find work that will ease them out of the workforce, something not too strenuous, but enough to keep going. Working simple jobs will also increase intellectual functioning and a lower rate of death due to poverty. Studies show that poverty is associated with decreased levels of mental and physical health functions in older adults, which leads to lower socioeconomic status because of increased physical and mental health problems. In all, a cognitively stimulating work context promotes successful aging (Santrock, 2012).
The dual-process model of coping with bereavement contains loss-oriented stressors and restoration-oriented stressors. Loss-oriented stressors include the positive and negative reviews of dying; negatively being that the person is dearly missed when the positive could include that the deceased isn’t suffering any longer. With restoration-oriented stressors, that deals with indirect outcomes of bereavement such as a change in marital status and mastering skills (Santrok, 2012). Multiple variations around the world involve the bonds between the deceased and those who are still living. Those of non-western cultures continue the bonds of the deceased by rituals, though those of Hopi culture will soon forget about the deceased and carry on with their lives. In Egypt, they will dwell on the death by mourning, but those in Bali will be joyful and celebrate as remembrance.
Kübler-Ross’ five stages of dying include:
Denial and isolation- the dying individual denies or cannot grasp the fact that death is going to take place.
Anger-the dying individual now realized that denial is far gone, resentment and envy comes along knowing that death will occur. The person becomes angry at those around them like their loved ones, caretakers and even God; a common question may be “Why me”
Bargaining- After the first and second stage comes the stage of bargaining where they may develop hope and will negotiate anything to try and stop or slow the process of dying. They will try to turn their life around, reform, and act like a pure angel or be on the “good side” of God.
Depression- Depression goes hand in hand with accepting the fact death will occur, but grief will appear. They will be incoherent from others and the activities they’ve once loved and cherished.
Acceptance- Acceptance is just as it seems. The dying person will develop a sense of peace to move on accept that death will occur at this time. Their feelings of pain and low emotions may disappear.
Not all stages will come in order but parents of children may take death harder than those of younger age grieving a grandparent. It’s like a child is not supposed to die due to the short lifespan they have subsisted. A grandmother or father has lived numerous decades, therefore it wouldn’t be surprising if they passed on. Adolescents may have friends or close relatives that have passed on and they would take it hard, due to the closeness of the relationship. They will handle the stages of death differently than they would if they were older or an older relative dies. Older adults might take death a little easier than most because they know that this time must come. They realize that we cannot turn down death if we wanted to, so they have a better mindset when grieving.
As an example, my parents are both of old age (father turned 65 Dec. 1st and mother will be 60 Jan. 1st). I have 3 older brothers that are all in the mid 30’s. Within 10-20 years, I believe even though they would God forbid grieve upon bereavement, they would take it much better than me due to the fact that I’m only 21 now but will be in my 30’s-40’s.
Some of the things that might change because of the increasingly life expectancy and a growing older population would be lower fertility because in older adult it is harder to be fertile at an old age. There will be less babies being born. So for a time frame there will be more people living than being born. There would possibly be a change in the age of retiring. Since the life expectancy has gone up, there will possibly be a increase on the age of retiring. There will be driving laws to assist the older people still living that are still driving. Medicines and cures will get stronger because they see that the medicine everyone is receiving is keeping them going for a mighty long time. There might be more nutritious foods sold around the world more than fast food because of the increase in the population’s life span.
Some of the myths that deal with physical and psychological during aging are sexuality. It decreases as you get older, but the feeling doesn’t disappear completely. Sexual performance usually decreases in males more than females. Older adults may express their sexuality differently than younger adults, especially enjoying touching and caressing in their sexual relationship when sexual intercourse becomes difficult (Santrock, 2012). Hearing and vision decreases around the age of 75 (Santrock, 2012). The brain shrinks and slows down. It becomes harder to remember even the easiest things. The body is more open to catching diseases and illnesses because the immune system is not as strong as it was when you were 25 years old. In the leisure time and the workplace it is good for an old age adult to have and show social support. It depends on their physical and mental health that you will see this support. It is linked with a reduction in symptoms of disease, with the ability to meet one’s own health care needs, and reduced mortality. A higher level of social support also is related to a lower probability of an older adult being institutionalized and depressed. The older adults who experienced a higher level of social support showed later cognitive decline than their counterparts with a lower level of social support (Santrock, 2012).
I believe that people who are 65 years old or older still working means that they still have function of their brain, still at a moderate level for work. Working at a older age keeps your cognitive skills still active and keeps your brain working at full capacity. The more you use these skills the longer you keep them in your memory. Socially you might have something in common with a fellow employee who might be younger than you. Share stories and family history with them. Older age adults can only bring positivity to the workplace and maybe some stubbornness with it. Older people are looking for other jobs instead of retiring because they feel still have a lot of life in them and can help out any organization with their skills. Just volunteering every once in awhile is a job and a joy for them. It keeps them from being stuck in their home all day, not that there’s anything wrong with that at all, but some older people have a little bit more energy than others and that’s why they say no to retirement.
The dual-process model is a model of coping with bereavement that emphasizes oscillation between two dimensions: (1) loss oriented stressors, and (2) restoration-oriented stressors (Santrock, 2012). Loss-oriented stressors focus on the deceased individual and can include grief work and both positive and negative reappraisals of the loss. A positive reappraisal of the loss might include acknowledging that death brought relief at the end of suffering, whereas a negative reappraisal might involve yearning for the loved one and ruminating about the death. Restoration-oriented stressors involve the secondary stressors that emerge as indirect outcomes of bereavement. They can include a changing identity (such as from “wife” to “widow”) (Santrock, 2012). This is the time where they try to figure what is left for me o live for and what is their purpose now. Some cultures deal with grief in different ways. People can be very hurt by their love one’s death. They can be in a state of shock for the rest of their lives and be a shell of themselves. Another way is laughing and being joyful of the precious life they lived, it still hurts that you lost them but you have to think of the good memories to get past it. A different way of coping is accepting and knowing that they now are in a better place. Life still needs to go on because that is what the love one would want everyone to do. Life your life and enjoy every second of it.
The Kübler-Ross stages of dying consist of five stages. Denial and isolation is when the dying person denies that she or he is really going to die. Anger is when the dying person’s denial gives away to anger, resentment, rage, and envy. Bargaining is when the dying person develops the hope that death can somehow be postponed. Depression is when the dying person comes to accept the certainty of her or his death. Finally, the last stage is acceptance. Acceptance is when the dying person develops a sense of peace, an acceptance of his or her fate, and in many cases, a desire to be left alone (Santock, 2012). An adolescent would treat death in a way of depression because they have not lived their full life. An adult would be in denial and isolation because they don’t feel like it is their time yet. Then there will be anger and depression. Then finally just acceptance is all that can be done at this point in time; there will also be bargaining to live a better life, if kept alive. An older person would just have acceptance because they feel that their has been fulfilled with living for as long as they have.
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