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PSY 375 Late Adulthood and End of Life Paper


PSY 375 Late Adulthood and End of Life Paper fin571

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PSY 375 Late Adulthood and End of Life Paper
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by an elite notetaker on Tuesday November 10, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to fin571 at Kaplan University taught by in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 32 views.

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Date Created: 11/10/15
Running Head: LATE ADULTHOOD AND END OF LIFE 1 *Please be sure to use this tutorial as a guide only. Do not plagiarize and do not resell as your own work. If you have any questions or problems with the tutorial please get a hold of me before leaving any negative feedback and I will resolve the issue. If you have trouble opening or viewing the files please contact me and I will fix the problem as soon as I can. Sometimes instructors change the syllabus so if the material does not match your syllabus please let me know. If I do not respond right away please be patient, I do have a full-time job and I try to check my messages once a day. Thanks and good luck!!! :-) Late Adulthood and End of Life Paper Name PSY 375 February 6, 2011 Teacher 2 Late Adulthood and End of Life           Late adulthood is a time in which individual’s begin to accept life as a whole and reflect  on this life in a positive manner as they near end of life.  Late adulthood begins around age 65  and continues until death.  As with any other stage of life, late adulthood has its own unique  characteristics and developments.  Late adulthood is often seen as a time of physical and mental  decline; however, there are ways in which an individual can promote and maintain both physical  and mental health.             Society has created many stereotypes over the years, and late adulthood is no exception to  this common occurrence.  When an individual is judged or stereotyped based solely upon age,  this is referred to as ageism (Berger, 2008).  Unfortunately, ageism is quite prominent among the elderly.  Another significant factor in late adulthood is mortality.  During late adulthood issues of death and dying become much more evident as individuals begin to ponder their own transience.  While death is a universal concept, varying cultural influences also play a role in individual  outlooks on mortality.  Late adulthood is essentially the final developmental stage in a human’s  life.  In a sense, late adulthood is the closing chapter of life.  In this paper the subject to be  examined includes factors that influence late adulthood as well as challenges that individual’s  may face as they progress through the final stage of life.          Health and Wellness           Older adults can maintain good health and wellness a number of ways. Every day choices  can be highly influential when it comes to the overall health of an older adult.  In fact, it has been 3 found that lifestyle factors can be more significant than genetics in reference to aging (Johns  Hopkins, 1998).  Choices made early in life can also play a role in health and wellness as one  enters the stage of late adulthood.  Exercise (physical and mental), nutrition, and stress reduction  are all common factors that play a role in health and wellness of older adults.           Physical exercise helps improve cardiovascular and respiratory functioning.  It also  decreases the loss of muscle mass that older adults are vulnerable to as they age.  Physical  activity is also a natural stress reliever, not only for older adults, but also for all age groups.   Proper nutrition and physical exercise are two key ingredients to maintaining good health.   Kurtus (2002, para.10) states, “memory enhancement and mental functioning are supported by  good diet, mental activity, and connectedness with other people.”  A proper diet accompanied by  necessary vitamins and minerals is highly recommended for older adults.  Water is also essential  to maintaining good health because it promotes proper organ functioning.  Throughout all stages  of life stress can reduce immunity function and diminish health.  This remains true for late  adulthood as well.  Eliminating as much stress as possible can help improve immunity function  as well as promote healthy mental wellbeing (Kurtus, 2002).                 Maintaining proper cognitive health and functioning is also imperative during late  adulthood.  Many stereotypes have been created regarding the cognitive functioning of older  adults.  To uphold cognitive function it is crucial for older adults to expose themselves to various forms of mental stimulation.  Puzzles, reading, writing, and games are all forms of mental  activities that can help an individual maintain cognitive functioning as they progress through late adulthood.  Social interaction is also a noteworthy method of maintaining good mental  functioning. 4 Ageism           People are quick to assume that elderly individuals are at a direct disadvantage because of  their age.  This form of stereotyping is referred to as ageism.  Ageism is a negative form of  stereotyping which can occur at any stage in life.  Adolescence is another common stage of life  in which ageism is evident.  Both adolescents and older adults commonly face patronizing  judgments based solely on their age.  Older adults who face ageism often argue that they are  fully capable and just as competent as any other age group.  People who participate in  stereotyping of older adults often view elderly as ‘fragile’ and physically limited.  While older  adults are at higher risk for certain illnesses, physical limitations, and social confines, most are  healthy and active with plenty of social involvement.  Not only are older adults stereotyped  based on physical limitations, but they also are thought to have slower reaction times and  decreased problem solving skills.  These are also common stereotypes faced during late  adulthood.           Ageism has become a controversial issue throughout the years.  Age stereotyping against  older adults has created an unfair disadvantage in job markets.  Different organizations have  been formed in an attempt to combat ageism against elderly.  These organizations try to focus on  positive aspects of aging while diminishing any stereotypes and negative assumptions that have  been developed regarding elderly incompetence.  It is also expected that the issue of ageism and  stereotyping will increase as the Baby Boomers enter the stage of late adulthood.   Mortality 5           The maximum life span for human beings is 122 years (Berger, 2008).  As adults progress  into late adulthood, issues of death and dying become more prominent than in previous life  stages.  While many people will not live to fulfill the maximum life span expectancy, the concept alone creates a mental ‘mortality clock’ that many older adults are faced with as years pass.  The  issue of mortality is often nonexistent during childhood and adolescence.  During the early and  middle adult years mortality remains a background issue and is not given much thought.  Late  adulthood is the point at which mortality becomes significant as individuals move closer toward  the maximum life span.             Both physiology and psychology play important roles within the concept of mortality.   While the physical occurrence of death is clearly on a physiological level, the contemplation of  mortality lies within psychology as well. Cultures vary in their viewpoints, attitudes, and beliefs  when it comes to death and dying.  Some cultures view death as a new beginning (reincarnation)  while others believe that it is the ultimate ending.  Some people fear death and others welcome it  as a state of peace and rest.  Just as cultures diverge in aspects of life, they also contrast in issues  of death.   Conclusion                  People have come to dread late adulthood because of the increased awareness of  mortality as well as common stereotypes of ageism.  The issue of ageism has created many  problems and disadvantages for older adults.  As a result many groups and organizations are  stepping forth in an attempt to end ageism.  It may be a losing battle, but it is battle nonetheless.   Contrary to common stereotypes, it is possible, and quite likely, for older adults to maintain good 6 health and cognitive functioning.  Exercise, good nutrition, and low stress levels are all important aspects of healthy and graceful aging.  Perhaps the most significant difference between late  adulthood versus the other life stages is the prominence of mortality.  As individuals near the  maximum life span expectancy they begin to contemplate their own death.  Culturally, death and  dying are diverse in nature.  Cultural attitudes tend to vary in all aspects of life, and mortality is  just another cultural variance that is evident among society.  While it can be difficult for people  to maintain hope while facing the years prior to end of life, it is important to maintain optimism  and confidence throughout late adulthood. 7 References Berger, K. S. (2008). The developing person through the life span (7th ed.). New York: Worth  Publishers Kurtus, E. (2002). Lifestyle factors affecting quality of life in late adulthood. School for  Champions. Retrieved February 6, 2011 from­for­ The Johns Hopkins prescription for longevity: Health After 50; Johns Hopkins Medical Letter  (Dec, 4­6, 1998).


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