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Late Adulthood

Late Adulthood

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Late Adulthood

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  1. Late Adulthood DEP 2004 Human Development Across the Lifespan Slides adapted from Arnett’s Human Development: A Cultural Approach, 1st Edition and Kail & Cavanaugh’s Human Development: A Life-Span View

  2. Guiding Questions • How is the demographic composition of the older adult population changing? • What common personal changes are associated with late adulthood? • What factors are associated with successful coping?

  3. The Changing Demographic ofOlder Adults in the USA • Women outnumber men in all ethnic groups • Older adult population is more diverse • In 2008, slightly more than 50% of people over 65 had high school diplomas and 18% had college degrees • By 2030, 85% will have high school diplomas and 75% will have college degrees

  4. Increase in Older Adults • The population of older adults in industrialized nations has been increasing rapidly in the 20th century • In the year 2030 the number of people over 65 will equal or outnumber the number in other age groups

  5. Global Aging Pattern • Old-Age Dependency Ratio (OADR) • Number of persons aged 65 or older Number of persons aged 20-64  • Bottom number represent work force who pay into government

  6. Global Aging Pattern • Reasons for climbing OADR • Birth rate peaked (represent workforce) • Medical care increases longevity • Some gender differences in life expectancy

  7. Health Promotion • Healthy lifestyle includes: • Healthy diet—low fat and sugar, taking multivitamins • Regular exercise—lowers risk of disease, increases muscle and bone mass • Aerobic and strength training beneficial • Avoid smoking and alcohol

  8. Physical Changes • Hair continues to gray and thin • Bones thin especially in women • Age spots develop—sun exposure hastens development • Height and weight decline • Teeth yellow • Exercise and healthy diet can slow some appearance changes

  9. Physical Changes • Quality of sleep declines with age • Sleep less deeply • Time in light sleep increases • Sleep Apnea common sleep problem • Can be treated with CPAP device • Psychological issues can also impair sleep • Depression, anxiety, and medical conditions

  10. Sensory Changes • Vision • Reduced visual acuity • Cataracts • Most common visual impairment • Increased chance of Macular Degeneration • Increased chance of Glaucoma

  11. Sensory Changes • Hearing • Acuity diminishes for high-pitched sounds • May develop tinnitus • Can lead to social isolation • Taste and smell • Decline in taste and smell can make food less enjoyable • Dangerous smells not detected

  12. Cognitive Changes • Declines in • Selective Attention • Divided Attention • Sustained Attention • Memory effects include • Working memory decline • Episodic and autobiographical memory decline • Source memory decline

  13. Health Problems • Common health issues are: arthritis osteoporosis, and hypertension • Arthritis—disease of the joints • Cartilage that cushions joints wear out • Women affected more than men • Management involves medication, inserting new joints and/or exercise

  14. Health Problems • Osteoporosis • Increased risk for broken bones • Exercise and calcium-rich diet for treatment • Hypertension • Secondary aging makes condition worsen • Diet and medications are treatment options

  15. Dementia • Aging increases risk of dementia • Alzheimer’s disease most common • Loss of memory for recent events including people • increased anxiety and aggression • Two features include • Accumulation of plaques • Neurofibrillary tangles

  16. Continuity Theory • Continuity theory - theory based on idea that people tend to cope with daily life in later adulthood by applying familiar strategies based on past experience to maintain and preserve both internal and external structures • Internal structures are related to one’s identity • External structures are related to one’s environment • 3 degrees of continuity • Too Little - feel life is too unpredictable (or too chaotic) • Too Much - can create boredom or a rut of predictability • Optimal - enough change to be a challenge and provide interest by not taxing one’s resources

  17. Competence Environmental Press Theory • Competence—the upper limit of a person’s ability to function in five domains; physical health, sensory-perceptual skills, motor skills, cognitive skills, and ego strength • Environmental press—the physical, interpersonal, or social demands that environments put on people

  18. Adaptation level - when press level is average for a particular level of competence • Zone of maximum performance potential - when press level is slightly higher (than the person’s competence level), tending to improve performance • Zone of maximum comfort - when press level is slightly slower, facilitating a high quality of life

  19. Dealing with Change • Proactivity - when people choose new behaviors to meet new desires or needs and exert control over their lives • Docility - when people allow their situation to dictate the options they have

  20. Relationships • Patterns of friendships in late life are similar to those in young adulthood • Older adults have fewer relationships than younger adults • Older couples are more likely to be similar in mental and physical health and show fewer gender differences in sources of pleasure • Older couples usually have developed effective ways to avoid conflict • Great-grandparenting is an enjoyable and important role

  21. Wisdom with age? • General personal conditions • General intelligence and cognitive ability • Openness to new experiences • Curiosity • Specific expertise conditions • Studying/reading in a new field of study • Practicing a skill • Teaching or mentoring someone else • Facilitative life contexts • Going to school • Leading a community organization Wisdom = expertise in the conduct and meaning of life

  22. Leisure Activities • Time devoted to leisure activities, community activities, and religious involvement • Leisure activities • Increased time to continue previous interests • Increased travel if able • Time spent doing non-demanding activities

  23. Religious Involvement • Religious involvement • Participation increases • Practices and beliefs increase • Women more religious than men but men hold dominate positions • Promotes self esteem, life satisfaction, and overall happiness • Promotes better physical health

  24. Ego Integrity • Erikson’s—Ego integrity vs. despair • Integrity versus Despair - (Erikson) - the stage in later life in which people try to make sense of their lives • Involves a life review—looking back and reflecting • Integrity associated with acceptance and may lead to less depression • Physical and cognitive problems may interfere with this process