HDFS 1070 Week 13 Notes (Exam 4)
HDFS 1070 Week 13 Notes (Exam 4) HDFS 1070
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This 19 page Class Notes was uploaded by Victoria Tabacchini on Friday April 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HDFS 1070 at University of Connecticut taught by Ronald Sabatelli in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 29 views. For similar materials see Individual and Family Development in Human Development at University of Connecticut.
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HDFS 1070 4/18, Page 1 Later Adulthood & Very Old Age Lecture Notes 4/18/16 Age is a poor guide for understanding the unique developmental issues of people as they get older. It really is your health and psychological outlook that places you in a particular elderly later adulthood stage. Psychological outlook is very much influenced by your health and what you think about your aging. o Ex. Someone who has poor health and is pessimistic—people think of them as well into very old age o Ex. Someone in their 70s who is happy and thinks they are still young are thought of as younger than they are. People are living longer than ever before. We used to think of later adulthood beginning at 65 when life expectancy was in the 60s and 70s. If you live to 60 today, among everyone who is 60 years old, their life expectancy is well into their 80s (likelihood). This is why it makes sense to divide stages into a later adulthood period. Health and Psychological outlook more important Growing Old in America Ageism in America: stereotypical and prejudicial outlook of elderly; discriminate, group profiling; why the elderly age segregate themselves; both the aging and younger people lose out from the loss of contact exists because of lack of meaningful contacts of people within this group Filial Piety: a cultural value orientation. Speaks directly to the respect that we extend to family members particularly as they grow older. Some cultures are very high in filial piety: tremendous amount of respect extended to family members as they grow older. Other cultures are low: relatively little respect that goes to people based on their age and standing in the family hierarchy. Most of us would understand and support the conclusion that the US is on the low end of this continuum. There are a lot of Asian cultures that are extremely high in filial piety. Growing old is influenced by the cultural value orientations that are related to the views that we have towards the elderly. The US doesn’t extend a lot of respect to elder family members particularly as they grow older—we might say that the US has an ageist view of the elderly instead: a form of prejudice that paints the elderly in a broad view as being not necessarily welcome, not necessarily relevant, and not necessarily worthy of our time and energy. In the US this ageism is accompanied by a pattern of the expectation that as people get older they should segregate themselves into age specific communities surrounded by other elderly members. This low level of filial piety results in elderly people feeling unwelcome and results in young people not feeling that it is vital to interact with them. As people age in the US, they start to think about where they can live as they get older to be around HDFS 1070 4/18, Page 2 people the same age as them. Prejudice: prejudice thrives when there is a lack/absence of meaningful contact between diverse members of the population. Prejudice towards the elderly thrives because of the lack off filial piety and because young people lack encouragement and opportunities to have meaningful interactions with older people. If they had this, it would break down stereotypical barriers. Elderly could provide guidance and mentorship, and younger people could gather knowledge from them. We can only have this if there are meaningful interactions. How you develop at each stage of life has a lot to do with what culture you grow up in. There are cultures that are much kinder and more accepting about the elderly than the US. US elders believe that they have to segregate themselves from younger people. Individual Development Transitions Behavioral Slowing & Frailty Distinction between slowing and frailty o Frailty is related to behavior slowing but is a distinctly different developmental event: when you require assistance with daily living (ADL). Meaning that to some extent, you’re not capable of being totally independent and selfsufficient. This is on a continuum: could be that you can’t drive anymore and need to be taken to the grocery store once a week. Or that you can’t do some heavy lifting. This is the beginning of a different part of the aging process because as you require more assistance with daily living, your identity is being more wrapped up with being a frail older person. You have to acknowledge that you’re old and not young and no longer selfsufficient. As frailty progresses, you can no longer live independently. Frailty happens at different ages—there is variability between individuals. o Behavioral slowing: gradual change in your physical strength and abilities that accompanies the aging process. There is tremendous variability in this decline. As you age, you decline. Frailty has an impact on a person’s wellbeing, which is mediated through whether or not the person experiences it as being an identity disruption. Frailty as an Identity Disruption o As long as someone can accept this change in their identity, they are fine with it for the most part. If they cannot accept it, they are in a more panicked and less accepting place. o You must respect individual developmental lived experiences of aging and can’t generalize about them based on their age. o Frailty requiring assistance is a negative event which impacts people’s wellbeing. o I am old, not young o I am no long selfsufficient HDFS 1070 4/18, Page 3 o I can’t live independently Styles of Adjustment to Aging 75% of people fall into the * categories All of the adjustment processes reflect what people do to cope with getting old. Reorganizers*: substitute new activities for older ones, well adjusted o Substitute new activities for older ones to adjust to getting older. Think of these people as being welladjusted. They accept the fact that they have to make adjustments to the aging process. This is an adjusted view. People are making assessments of what they can and cannot do. When they can’t do something, they do other things in replacement. Focused*: Limited to a few things when they can't do those limited activities, they experience despair o As they get older they limit themselves to a few activities that they really value and that are really symbolic of them being younger. They organize their life as they get older if possible around those activities. When they can’t do those activities any longer, they experience despair and do nothing (don’t find a new activity to substitute). They feel a sense of desperation and loss. o They focus on those activities that are symbolic of them being young and not old. Ex. Playing tennis. Disengaged*: Withdraw from activities, frame this as a chance to experience a calm and relaxed lifestyle; they become too sedentary o These individuals withdraw from activities and let go of the things that they did as they get older and can no longer do them. They frame this disengagement from activities as a chance to experience a calm and relaxed lifestyle—they earned this and don’t need to do anything anymore since they’re old. They believe they have earned the opportunity to do nothing and be old. They become too sedentary (don’t remain active). They don’t use their minds or bodies a lot. They sit around a lot and usually watch TV all day, which becomes their lifestyle. If they spend a lot of hours sitting watching TV, their brain deactivates and their body deactivates as well. This is an accelerated decline that the elderly experience. They often put on weight, lose vigor, and lose intellectual and physical vigor the more they sit back and do nothing. They also lose strength and stamina really quickly. Holding On: Push themselves to do what they did before; people admire them from afar, characterized by denial o These people push themselves to the point that they did before, even when aging compromises their ability to do it. We admire them from afar partly because they are pushing themselves, but if you have a lot of empathy and HDFS 1070 4/18, Page 4 sensitivity to people, you would feel very sad for them because they are in denial and not getting any enjoyment from the things that they do. They are just anxious to stop themselves from getting older. This is characterized by high levels of denial. Constricted: limit social activity to very narrow range of things, become preoccupied with aging, because they are anxious about aging; try to protect themselves from getting old they accelerate the effects of aging o This is a way of coping with aging long before they’re old. They are preoccupied throughout their middle adulthood years, maybe even before, with preventing themselves from getting old. Preoccupied with staying young—preoccupied with aging. In all the stages of their adult years, they do things in an attempt to protect themselves from getting old. These are by far the most anxious individuals about the aging process. They have a high experience of identity disruption with getting old. They are using antiaging products in an attempt not to get old. They are so anxious and preoccupied with getting old that there is no joy in being in the present. There is tension between anxiety and joy. These people experience no joy in being 50, 55, 60… they are always worried about getting old. If you look at the styles, they are ranked from best adjusted to worst adjusted. Each of them is a response to slowing and frailty, and each of them is exacerbated by the cultural values and family values of people. Each of them also establishes a trajectory of development that carries on for years ex. 6592. *75% fall into these three categories Retirement In America, most people say the ideal time to retire is somewhere between 65 and 68. This model is flawed because when people’s life expectancy was between 68 and 72 in the past, a company could promise you a retirement benefit starting at 68. Companies did this knowing they wouldn’t have to pay you very long. The retirement packages available to people have changed dramatically—they offer less of a living wage and lifestyle to people, which means that the new model of retirement is that you have to work longer and retire at an older age. How long you have to work and how late you have to retire depends on how much you can financially support yourself. Most people are offered to invest $100,000. People need 80% of that money to live off of. If you need to have 80% to sustain your standard of living once you retire, then you need to work long enough to accumulate enough that enables you to estimate that you can live the rest of your life with this 80% cover. The factors that influence adjustment are financial preparation and income in a big way. Most people discover that as they approach this, they’re not prepared. Workers in America are so illiterate when it comes to issues of retirement. Factors Influencing Adjustment HDFS 1070 4/18, Page 5 Financial preparation Income Choice A more contemporary issue than ever before. There are 2 ways in which your control over retirement is disrupted: one way is when you have a health crisis and you have to retire before you’re ready. Another way is if the corporation you work for lets you go. Most people who are young believe that they can control their fertility. There is a sizable percent that don’t have control over their fertility. When you experience an event that you have no control over, you are freaked out by that. As people get older, they believe that they are in control of their retirement. When you don’t have choice over retirement, this upsets your adjustment to the aging process and you may not be financially prepared. You might be forced into retirement by a stroke, but you can also be forced into retirement by the downsizing phenomenon that happens in corporate America today: when corporations selectively identify long term employees who are high wage earners to get rid of them. Doesn’t sound right — because the longer you work, the more you get paid, the more some corporation will eliminate your job because you cost more. Downsizing is a modern phenomenon that represents an extension of our cultural value of low filial piety. If we don’t value and respect the elderly, then why should corporate do the same? Ex. Man is a 30+ pilot for American airlines. When they experience financial trouble and filed for bankruptcy, negotiated with their employees that their pay is cut by 40% and their pension savings are gone. This was all legal. Pilots have mandatory retirements. In a bind because can’t continue working after 68. Ex. At 58, a pharmaceutical company laid off in a corporate merger. In a sense, in a disadvantage position because if you were a microbiologist trained 30 years ago and competing with jobs now with newly trained ones, if your salary requirements are 3/4x they are, you wont get the job. Gender Difference in Patterns of Retirement? From a lifespan perspective, women have more energy and interest in working longer than men as a general rule. Whether women are conscious of this or not, this makes good economic sense. 80% of the women over 65 in the US today are single (widowed or divorced). Of those 80% who are single, only about 4% or 5% will repartner post 65. This is a good thing because economically they have to support themselves longer. Life expectancy is longer for women than men by 6 years. Sabatelli, Ronald. “Later Adulthood.” HDFS 1070. University of Connecticut, Storrs. 18 April 2016. Lecture. HDFS 1070 4/18, Page 6 HDFS 1070 4/20, Page 1 Later Adulthood Psychosocial Issues Lecture Notes 4/20/16 Erikson's Psychosocial Crisis What makes each stage unique and interesting. One of the assumptions in the lifespan perspective is that development is possible in every stage. Epigenetic principle: what happens in early stages serves as a foundation for later ones. Success in early stages creates a better possibility for success in later stages. o Change is possible! Psychosocial in each stage: many different stages of life have associated with them stage specific sources of anxiety that result from social expectations and pressures and demands. In the later adulthood years, there are social expectations and demands that accompany those years. For people in the elderly years, the social expectation and demand revolves around the question of whether or not your life has meaning: viewing your life and come to grips with whether or not your life has had an impact/if you’ve made a difference with your life. This anxiety about whether or not you’ve made a difference is activated by an awareness of death and mortality. In middle adulthood, we become aware that we should make our life more meaningful. In later adulthood, you are forced to come to grips with the fact that at some point in the future, you’re going to die. As you think about death, you inevitably think about whether your life has made a difference or not. Later and very old age are interrelated stages. The success with dealing with them is related with how earlier stages have been dealt. Middle Adulthood (4065): You have the means of resources to make a difference in the community and your job in that stage of life is to try to raise the quality of life of the people around you and in future generations this would be a generative individual. Stagnated individuals would be focused on themselves. Narcissistic, self involved, egocentric as a result of those psychosocial tendencies, not acting in a caring way towards others. Become like this primarily because of being raised by parents who enhance their anxiety about whether they matter, whether they were competent, and that they should not trust others. If you are anxious about whether you matter or are competent, you are preoccupied with yourself and tend to be bitter, selfish, and not kind as you get older. The central process for this stage is person x’s environment and creativity what is necessary to make the successful resolution possible. Generative: interacting with their environments in creative ways as an expression of their generativity. HDFS 1070 4/20, Page 2 Later Adulthood (6575): As you become aware of your own mortality, you begin to review your life. The stage specific source of anxiety all revolve around integrity and despair. What’s in play is whether or not you actually view yourself as living a life that has made a difference and has had a positive impact and contribution. Whether you’ve acted in a way that reflects well on you as a person. Acting in this way means that you can see the positive contributions that you’ve made and the positive impacts that you’ve had. A person who starts to reflect on their life and as they’re reviewing their life, and is satisfied with the life they’ve lived: high sense of life satisfaction, which enables them to be free of excessive anxiety about the possibility of them dying. If you don’t have a life filled with integrity, when you think about dying, you get really anxious about not having made a difference and not having more time left. Integrity – ability to accept the facts of one’s life and face death without great fear vs. Despair – overwhelming feelings of regret, incompetence, disappointment with one’s life. Central Process: Introspection As you’re weighing in on and reflecting on whether your life has made a difference or not and whether you’ve lived a life in integrity, you spend a lot of time reflecting on your life. Reflecting on how your life has progressed, what happened to you when you were younger and how you responded, choices and decisions you’ve made. Observe in all older people: they enter into conversations with people (particularly younger) and tell stories about their lives. That is part of what this introspective review is about. Introspection is also in interactions with others, not just in their heads. If you show interest in their stories you are contributing to them feeling integrity over their life. If you respond negatively to those bids, you make them feel that they don’t have a lot to feel good about and therefore they feel despair. o Ex. If you’ve been a difficult person all your life you feel alone and a sense of despair. You feel like you haven’t really conducted yourself and your life well. o Ex. If you’ve been kind to your children and enjoy them and have good relationships, you feel a sense of integrity. Very Old Age For the really old elderly, close to approaching the end of their life, the crisis is immortality vs extinction. Immortality – because we have made an impact on others and on our communities, we symbolically continue to live on Among people who have been generative, lived a life of integrity, what they do as death comes knocking is that they understand that its sad they are dying but HDFS 1070 4/20, Page 3 because their life has made a difference they will live on through the people that they’ve touched. They introduced energy into the world around them and had a presence among people around them in a way that guarantees that they will live on. See people approaching death with a profound sense of peace knowing that its okay to die because they really made a difference. vs. Extinction with death comes extinction – because having not made a difference People that are anxious and stagnate and have a great deal of incompetence and disappointments with their lives realize as death approaches that they haven’t made a difference and that when they die no one will care. They believe that their death will result in their extinction. This could also cause them to try to reconnect with their family and do things with their lives. By the time parents are 70 years old, in a narcissistic selfinvolved way, you are probably cut off from them that when they make those reconnective bids its hard to forgive them and repair the damage that was done. Central Process: Social Support – being involved with a network of people encourages us to believe that we are cared for and loved Know you had made a difference if people continue to support you and are invested in caring for you. That is a concrete reminder and evidence that you’ve made a difference and that you will live on. There is a lack of filial piety that exists in the US. The elderly, as they are approaching the ends of their lives, tend to isolate themselves from the social support networks that they should rely on to make them feel a sense of immorality. The middle adulthood years really give us ample opportunities to act in generative ways that result in us feeling as if our life has made a difference and having supported connections to others in ways that make us feel like we have symbolically moved on. Those who are stagnate are really anxious about dying because they haven’t done anything constructive with their life. o Ex. When your grandkids hang out with you and listen to you, you feel connected to them and feel social support. Life Review Preparing for death; review and reflecting on your life, figuring out if your life has had any personal meaning How we impact on others in the years and months that we have remaining has a great deal to do with our own comfort with the inevitability of our own death. Americans don’t like to talk about death. In much of the world, there is a pronounce emphasis on thinking about death all the time. The reason why is because it centers your life. If you reflect on the fact that you will die, it makes you intentional about how you live your life. You choose how you live. In a way HDFS 1070 4/20, Page 4 Americans are less prepared for death than a lot of other cultures are because we don’t want to think about it. We see nothing but bad from thinking about death. Individual's Response: How someone who knows they are dying responds o Not uncommon to become excessively anxious about it. o Americans responses to their dying: researchers say there are predictable emotional stages that accompany the process that people have to work through in order to get to a place of acceptance. Research of KublerRoss: Emotional Stages (order and predictable?) Denial: Defense mechanism that allows us to function in the face of an anxiety provoking experience, youth and health are factors in degree of denial; short term o You refuse to accept the fact that you are dying. When we are in a state of denial, the anxiety that we are experiencing is so overwhelming that we shut ourselves off to the anxiety and don’t believe it is true. This is a way of managing anxiety that doesn’t allow you to accept the truth and process the emotions. For many Americans, they spend a specific period of time in a state of denial. At a certain point in time you have to deal with the anxiety. Anger: "Why me?," feeling like you’re robbed of chance to experience life, energizing emotion as long as they don’t' just concentrate on anger, comes from the loss of control o The secondary reaction to anxiety is anger. Anger is a way of channeling anxiety into energy that distracts from that anxiety. The anger comes from a loss of control. They express it to others that they are closest to, which is in opposition to them having the support that they need at this period in time. Anger is a secondary expression of their primary emotion of anxiety. Behind that anger, people are just really afraid of dying. Bargaining: religious and spiritual, try to bargain with supreme being to get back their life, attempt to hang on to hope o People become religious and spiritual often times when they are confronted with death. People somehow try to magically think of a way of avoiding their death, such as putting all their money into charity. Idea that somehow if they do something really wonderful and impactful they will be the one to live in exchange. People who are more likely to bargain are the people who are really despairing and don’t feel that their life has made a difference. Depression: Comes from the feeling of hopelessness o Comes with the secondary response to anxiety of hopelessness. Acceptance: Not everyone gets to acceptance, more likely to get to acceptance if were generative and have integrity HDFS 1070 4/20, Page 5 o Gradually people get to a state of acceptance. Not everyone gets to this state. People who don’t get to this state haven’t been generative and haven’t lived a life of integrity, so they don’t think they will live on. People getting to a place of acceptance is important for them and the people that they are connected to (network of family members and friends). If you die at peace, you communicate to others in ways that lets them know they are important in your life and that you have made a difference. You provide them with a perspective on life and death that helps to guide their lives. This lead to the development of a hospice program: important for the person who is dying and everyone in their social support network to develop an institutional set of procedures that helps people get to a state of acceptance. Place them in a setting where they are made comfortable, are cared for, accepted, and have regular interactions with their family and friends. This helps them feel that with their death they will live on (integrity and immortality). The problem in the US is that we don’t want to deal with the complexity of death. We took the hospice program and turned it into a short term intervention with a minimum amount of institutional support. It was planned to spend months in the hospice care as they’re approaching death. In the US, we say we will keep you in the hospital or send you home until you are days away from dying and then we will do hospice care with you, which is basically a hospital room. This is not a nice environment for people to be in when they are dying and for their family. We don’t allow them to create an environment where they can get to a place of acceptance. There is a debate about whether or not we are ruining hospice care for people and if we need to rethink our policies and procedures. We don’t want to deal with death, so we do the least for people who are dying. It is important to understand that when a person dies at peace with their death that they become a constructive force and model for others that impacts positively on their lives. It is for the good of their family and society. If you think about death some part of every day, then you come away from that and become aware of what you are doing that day and if you are choosing the life you want to be living makes life more intentional. Too much to assert that all people go through a similar process and in a similar way Gestalt Perspective: All coexist, just one is visible or in the foreground at any point in time To help people much the same as life review process want to know that they'll live on through the people that they've touched HDFS 1070 4/20, Page 6 The Reactions of INDIVIDUALS to the death of another (our lecture ended before this section) In a Word, GRIEF What do we know about grief? is universal and even apparently experienced by animals provides one with an opportunity to come to terms with their sense of loss there are many, often contradictory, emotions experienced by the grieving (eg., depression, profound sadness, anger, joy takes time to work through – how long is hard to say Why do people feel grief? I track this back to anxiety – death disrupts our illusion of control over life; forces us to think of our own mortality; and the loss of another creates a void in our lives that challenges our sense of security! How does the experience of another’s death impact on our psychosocial trajectory? Sabatelli, Ronald. “Later AdulthoodPsychosocial Issues.” HDFS 1070. University of Connecticut, Storrs. 20 April 2016. Lecture. HDFS 1070 4/22, Page 1 Family in Later Life Lecture Notes 4/22/16 People who are 7085 and are married to one another. What are the issues that they have to deal with? MARITAL ISSUES Rebalancing the boundary between work and family – retirement issues o Retirement is occurring later and spills over into later adulthood. Work is a way of being separate from your partner while maintaining connection. Work provides a buffer against too much connection, an opportunity to be separate, and to have a life independent of your partner. Work is a great distance regulator because it provides a certain number of hours each day in which we can do things in other ways might be of importance to us separate from our partner. With retirement, work as a distance regulator disappears. All couples need to figure out how they will rebalance that separateness and connectedness. This is another example of an ordinary difficulty which can become a problem if it is mishandled or ignored. Most couples imagine when they are both retired that they will spend more time in companionate activities. There are a lot of couples out there who don’t enjoy companionship—too much creates tensions that weren’t there before. People expect that when they retire, husbands will become more involved with housekeeping and housework, that the distribution of housework can be rebalanced and more equitable. Research shows that women do more than men by a sizeable amount and women tend to be happy enough if their partner helps out (suggests that if someone only has to help out with something, they are not responsible for it and it is more of a choice than an obligation). What happens post retirement is that housework patterns remain the same as they were before retirement. Men don’t see this as a problem and women do. This becomes a source of tension. Couples have to figure out to have companionship and separateness without work as the distant regulator and reconcile themselves to the distribution of housework and the fact that these patterns don’t change. This is influenced by the income, interests they have in common, etc. Most couples think in a fantastic way about retirement—they are going to travel, spend a lot more time doing things together, visit with family, etc. that they didn’t have time to do before. Research shows that these things don’t tend to happen. The pattern of recreation, vacationing, housework, stay more or less like they were. Consistency is more the norm than change with retirement. Coping with the physical changes of aging – behavioral slowing o This creates a tensional stress for long term couples. How it is experienced in the self and the partner has a lot to do with your feelings towards your partner. Just because someone is married for a HDFS 1070 4/22, Page 2 long time, doesn’t mean they necessarily like one another. Stability of relationship is not a really good indicator of a successful relationship. There are a lot of couples in a satisfactory and stable relationship, but there are a lot of couples in dissatisfied but stable relationships. Research is inadequate because we don’t really pursue this kind of question and people might not answer honestly. As behavioral slowing occurs, you and your partner experience some changes in your physical abilities. You don’t walk as well as you used to, you don’t hear as well, your eyesight changes, etc. If you like your partner and have empathy for them, you would be supportive, caring, and sensitive to these changes. If you don’t like your partner, you would be cruel about these kinds of things. Ex. Could accommodate for partner who is losing hearing in one ear or you could make them feel bad about their loss of hearing. It all depends on if you like your partner or not. Behavioral slowing becomes a factor that only exacerbates the continuing patterns that are present in the relationship all along. If people are loving, supportive, caring, and responsive partners, they will be all of those things to the slowing. If they are the opposite of those things, then behavioral slowing becomes another example in ways of which your partner has more things wrong with them. It also is important that when we talk about styles of adjustment to aging, this slowing occurs at different rates for all people. If in a couple, you have a husband and wife and the behavioral slowing is different for them— one might be slowing at a faster rate than the other. This changes the activities that they can engage in as a couple, which requires relationship adaptations. There might be a loss of a valuable companionate activity. Reorganizers are well adapted to the aging process, so they would reorganize their activities together. Others could also experience a sense of loss. These are just ordinary difficulties that require adaptations. o Ex. Bowling together. If one can’t bowl anymore because of behavioral slowing, there is a loss of the network of friends that are interacted with when bowling. If they don’t go anymore they lose out on the whole activity around it. Do you do something else? Or does the able partner still go? This requires some adaptability on the part of some individuals. o Behavioral slowing vs frailty Frailty: assistance with daily living that exists on it’s own continuum. Slowing: don’t require assistance and still independent. This comes at different rates for different couples. Frailty within the marital system – marital legacies and management of frailty o Conjugal Identities and the Role – Counterrole Distinction HDFS 1070 4/22, Page 3 Caregiver – Carereceiver From a typical perspective, men are more likely to slow earlier than women because their life expectancy is shorter. Slowing is more of an issue for men first because they are typically older than their partners. The same would occur for frailty. It is more likely that a male will require assistance with daily living before his female partner. The opposite is possible but not as common. Frailty exists on a continuum from low to high. The strain has a lot to do with the degree of frailty and what is required to care for the frail partner. Both partners could be frail at the same time. When frailty occurs, conjugal identities and the roles that we perform in our relationships need to be adjusted to introduce a new role and identity that is the frail partner becomes the carereceiver and the less frail partner becomes a caregiver. These are new identities. These are not necessarily positive identities and are not desirable. When we talk about transitioning into a role in general, we talk about four factors. Factors Influencing Role Transitions 1 Knowledge of the role: anticipatory socialization 2 Whether or not the role is desired or wanted 3 Social supports available to you from others while you’re making this transition 4 Clarity of the role The big factor with the shift into these roles is that it isn’t desirable, what is required will take some time to figure out, and most of us are not anticipating it. These are transitions that are going on with variable levels of social support with the rest of the family coming to you. The US does not have a social support network available as other countries do. There are services and support for the elderly available, but they are not as extensive as the ones in other countries. The elderly don’t utilize the services that are available to them in the US. The elderly are really high in the nonutilization of support and services available to them. This is a concern because as a husband and wife are dealing with new identities, it would be helpful for them to have a homemaker come every day, to have a social worker, to have a nurse, etc. Those services are available, but the elderly don’t use them because they don’t know about those services and we have an emphasis on boundaries and privacy. People think their issues need to be taken care of within the family. If we want to support elderly couples in living independently in their homes, we need to figure out ways to get them utilize the sources we have available to them. Who provides the greatest amount of support for the frail elderly? (EXAM) o Elderly spouses provide more care to the frail elderly than the extended family does. Frailty is a couple’s issue. It is only when a frail elderly HDFS 1070 4/22, Page 4 family member doesn’t have a partner available that it becomes more of a family matter. Most couples prefer to live independently, live in their homes, and figure out how to care for one another. When couples can’t live with frailty independently, the option is for them to move to an assisted living facility. They live as a couple in a new home with assistance form healthcare and homemaker services provided to them by an organization. They have to pay for these services. One of the myths in the US is that social security and Medicare cover these services— they don’t! You have to use your own money in paying for these services before government assistance kicks in. A lot of couples are resistant to use their money this way because they want to save it and don’t feel it is fair. Widowhood It is a marital issue. It’s the patterns of adaptation and adjustment post widowhood and how they impact upon individuals and their families. Who is most likely to experience the death of a partner? Women. When a woman is widowed, the overwhelming likelihood is that she will remain single for the rest of her life. Women don’t repartner in part because from a social network perspective, they have better support around them so they don’t use marriage like men do for social support. The primary reason is because of the pool of elders. Every year a woman ages, the number of available single elderly men goes down quickly for her. They are either married or dead. Women need to prepare for the fact that maybe as many as ¼ of their life at the end of their entire life span they will be single and having to support themselves. On average in the US, women are widowed for 20 years before they die themselves. Only about 5% of those widowed women remarry. For men, this is a different pattern. Within 2 years of an elderly man being widowed, 90% have remarried. These transitions occur too quickly from a family system point of view for it to be truly ready to integrate someone into the family. They marry so quickly because they can and need the social support. There is also a huge pool of women in their age. Importance of social support: a confidant is a name given to someone who you share sensitive and close information with. There have been studies that have asked men and women at all ages and stages of life who their confidants are. Men from the moment they are married through the rest of their life have only one person that they list as their confidant—their wife. Their wife is their support network. When you ask women who theirs is, it is always multiple people. Women in their 20s and 30s when they are married might place their husband on the list, but he’s not usually first. By the time they are 40, their husbands disappear from their list. When we talk about these repartnering patterns, research does shed some insight into why the pattern is so different with men and women. It is also just the pool of elders: there are way more women still living than men. INTERGENERATIONAL ISSUES IN LATER YEARS General Discussion of Generational Squeeze HDFS 1070 4/22, Page 5 o This is the middle generation caught between the demands of the aging generation and their own children. This is a midlife issue. As parents become frail, their own adult children will be squeezed between providing them with care while still having dependent children. This is random, and by chance that if you are in a position where your parents need your help and your children are grown up and independent—this is not the norm. Usually people still have children depending on them. For our cohort, the generational squeeze will be most pronounced. This is because our parents tended to have children later than generations before and we are having them later than ever before as well. If you have your 2 child when you are 35, and your 2 child is 10 years old and you are 45, your parents are well into their 80s on average. This means that you are more likely than generations before to have parents require assistance while your children are still young and dependent on you. The adaptation that we see happen is that there are more multigenerational families (at least 3 generations in the same household) in the US than there has ever been in the history of the US. This happens because people deal with the generational squeeze by using the parent’s resources in your own home while you are taking care of your kids. This is an economically driven solution. This points to the fact that resources across the entire lifespan go in bidirectional ways—as we get older, our kids help us financially, but as we also help our kids financially. This is reciprocal in nature. Once the middle generation is living independent of their parents, parents still have resources so they take advantage of that. Managing the Frailty of one’s Parents o Institutional care is not the norm in the US. They are cared for by their spouses and then their children. Only when care is impossible they are then put into the institutions. Most of the adult children who are caregivers are daughters or daughterinlaws. This is because most of the elderly that are being cared for by the females are females themselves. Gender training is a lifespan issue in that because girls are socialized to be caregivers, so we expect them to do this. A big part is that the elderly being cared for by their children or daughter in laws are females themselves. Elderly females will not want males helping them do things such as dressing or showering. We find that caregivers derive rewards from being caregivers and experience burdens at the same time. Burdens occur because there is only so much time, energy and money that one has to use. They also have multiple demands. It is also the case that the legacy of relationships between elderly parents who require care and their children factors in how caregiving is structured and experienced. HDFS 1070 4/22, Page 6 o Holmes: legacy relationships that impact on how caregiving is burdened and experienced. How the legacy has progressed through the personal authority transformation. The Structure and Experience of Caregiving needs to be looked at from a Family Developmental Perspective o Legacy captured by level of progress in the Personal Authority Transformation o Holmes Typology The mutual relationship The personal authority transformation has succeeded in this instance. You are in a more peerlike relationship with your parent. You willingly become a caregiver. You also experience a lot of burden because you are sensitive to your own kids, husband, empathic and aware of everyone else and their needs. The hierarchical/passive relationship In this relationship, you are are still psychologically intimidated by your parent in which their approval and disapproval is dominant in your life. You are in a child like position even through you are older— you become a caregiver out of a sense of obligation because you can’t stand to disappoint them. Because of you being so psychologically intimidated by your parent, you tend to lose sight of your responsibilities and commitments to your own family which creates a lot of conflict in the rest of the family system. This creates bad karma dynamics in the system. The hierarchical/rebellious relationship This has a legacy of conflict around authority and autonomy throughout the entire lifetime. Fights with parent all the time because tries to impose authority over adult child. These relationships are least likely to become a caregiver. That doesn’t mean they don’t ever become caregivers. If they become caregivers and do it well, they delegate care (pay for someone to do it so they don’t have to deal with their parent who drives them crazy). If they don’t delegate and don’t do it well, this opens up the possibility of a lot of abusiveness. The dark side of family is something we have to acknowledge. There are elderly who are abused by their children. The ones most likely to be abused are ones in high conflict relationships where the kids take advantage of their parent’s money, get back at them for HDFS 1070 4/22, Page 7 all the pain they have had all long, neglect them, don’t feed them, physically hurt them, etc. Sabatelli, Ronald. “Family in Later Life.” HDFS 1070. University of Connecticut. Storrs. 22 April 2016. Lecture.
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