Late Adulthood and Death Paper

Late Adulthood and Death Paper


Late Adulthood and Death Paper

Analyzing late adulthood and the death of an individual as a culmination of the life span development process one must understand late adulthood consists of. This paper will give a brief overview of ageism and stereotypes associate with late adulthood. This will explain how health and wellness techniques in the late adulthood stages can mitigate the negative effects of aging. As people age the social views and experiences changes in relationships and interactions with individuals, as he or she nears end of life. When closely approaching the end of life, a person has cultural and personal attitudes about death and dignity in late adulthood.

Ageism and Stereotypes

When examining ageism and stereotypes associated with late adulthood defines as ones prejudice or discrimination that occurs on the basis of age. When thinking about ageism one must look at the disengagement theory (Cumming & Henry, 1961) that proposes that adults voluntarily reduce the contact with society rather than experiencing exclusion later and the disappointment not chosen. Other ageism statements say that older people forced involuntarily to give up participation with society. The disengagement theory justifies withdrawal from social institutions.

Stereotyping defines as one making comments to someone saying that a certain age does a task that way. Stereotypes toward old people are cruel and unethical because one-day he or she will be in the same situation. Some stereotypes include older people show depression and loneliness, all old people look the same, old adults look sick, frail, and dependent, last older adults act cognitively and psychologically impaired. People who make stereotypical comments do this to build one’s own self confidence. If one researched all the data about the stereotypical comments one would see the comments made are not as accurate as he or she believes. Everyone deserves to be respected, especially as one ages.

Health and Wellness

Aging is inevitable, a fact that cannot be ignored. The aging process in late adulthood is called senescence. People cannot stop the effects of aging but there are alternatives that can help ease the process. These measures are not always followed because people make poor life choices such as smoking. Aging adults will even spend millions of dollars trying to slow the process of aging. No matter how much money they spend aging will occur.

Most aging adults do not receive the necessary preventive services to help promote health and wellness during this stage of life. These preventive services include vaccinations and screenings. These important services help detect many diseases, delay their onset, or identify them early in their most treatable stages to ensure healthier, longer, and more productive lives for older adults (Prevention, 2011). Better people take care of themselves the longer they will live. People who balance: the right diet, making better choices and not acting sedentary has a better chance in living longer lives.

With the advances in medical care, better health practices, improved nutrition, and other factors help people live longer. As long as older adults are following the correct measures, they can help counter the effects of aging because this stage here most people retire, they need to stay active and keep eating healthy foods. By not living actively can lead to his or her body shutting down, and may also lead to an early death. Many programs are available that older adults can join to help keep them on track. Aging adults can also receive information from their doctors and pamphlets from clinics that will give them a guideline to follow to age gracefully.

Importance of Relationships and Social Interactions

Humans are social animals, dependent on one another for survival and drawn to one another for joy, (University of Phoenix, 2010). Studies show that married older people are healthier, wealthier, and happier than unmarried people and their spouse’s support can help extend their lives. The importance for older adults to have a partner helps because they can depend on each other for help, and they can also help each partner in an area that they are experiencing trouble with because of age. Older adults experience capabilities of being able to have an even give and take relationship and give mutual respect in the relationship.

* Older adults who have no partner should have social interactions daily as it has proven emotionally healthier than to be alone. Also older married adults must adjust to their interactions with his or her spouse because they will be together much more when they retire. This constant interaction can lead to disputes but has shown that older adults in a close marital relationship have been proven less depressed and less eager about disabilities that may present themselves because of age.

* The importance of companionship in older adults, the average married woman will experience four to ten years of widowhood. The average man will experience none. The first two years can be especially difficult for the widow, but studies show that women come to enjoy the newfound independence and few seek new companionship. For widowers it is not the same, widowers have fewer friends and receive less support from the family. Those widowers try to interact to find new companionship.

Cultural and Personal Attitudes

The aging process and developmental stages come to the end once a human being is deceased. A normal life cycle will have its last developmental and cognitive stage in late adulthood. This is a period is defined by the individual’s death. The cognitive learning and development in late adulthood shares some traits with the early stages of life. In this final stage the individual is seeking relationships with his close family and will create dependency on the family members. These dependencies are in all areas of human life. The cognitive and physical abilities of a person experiencing late adulthood are decreasing.

Cultural factors play important roles in the lives of the elders. Different cultures will dictate the way that the older person will be taken care of financially, emotionally, social, and in all the remaining areas. Different cultures will have different approaches to this final stage; usually the children will adopt a more active role in their parent’s life. In this transition process that occurs in the late adulthood is a dynamic shift in responsibilities and roles. The elders will not be responsible for their children’s; the children will be responsible for their parents. This has a clear decrease in the analytical abilities. The cultural influence in the upbringing will determine if the alders will be on assisted living facility or will be solely responsibility of by family members.

During this stage cognitive development is influenced by the mortality and their legacy. This stage the individual will realize his mortality and most cases assume a role of an amicable person than an authoritarian figure. The spouse also plays an important role on the individual quality of life. All the persons surrounding an individual in late adulthood will focus in providing a good quality of life, a safe environment, and a honest relation. Like in the early stages of life the family component is one of the driving entities in this stage. Family and close friend will have a direct impact in the quality of the individual. Once the individual’s need get more complicated the family will decide to take the person to a nursing home because the medical need cannot be meet by the family.

The late adulthood is a stage very complex and full of different experiences. This transition stage allows the relinquishing of responsibilities to family members and in many instances they will seek the oldest knowledge. This stage should be used to resolve and organize the individual’s state. Ensuring that everything is taking resolved will provide a sense of accomplishment and serenity. At that time the main focus should be ensuring the quality of life remaining. Different cultures have different approaches to the wellbeing of the older adults; all have the same goal, to obtain and maintain the highest quality of life for the older. This is also complemented by the medical advantages available. Hospice care and pain management are some important tools available for the families to ensure dignity in this stage of life; that many consider a beginning, not the end.


Berger, K. S. (2010). Invitation to the Life Span, 1e. Retrieved from The University ofPhoenix eBook Collection database.

Todd D. Nelson, (2004). Ageism: Stereotyping and Prejudice Against Older Persons. :Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Prevention, C. f. (2011, March 14). Clinical Preventive Services for Older Adults. Retrievedfrom CDC:

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