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Late Adulthood: Final Stages Scenario

Getting old is a difficult time period for many individuals and their family members. Prepare a response in which you make suggestions to create an ideal environment for an individual in late adulthood. Be sure to address the following items:

a. Describe the changes that are occurring for women and men during the developmental stages of late adulthood and death.
b. Explain these changes using the main concepts of the theories relating to late adulthood and death.
c. Explain how you would create an ideal environment to help a family member enjoy their final stages of life. As a part of your explanation, consider the following questions:

1. Would having family members and friends being around be important?
2. Would it be important to leave nothing left unsaid that was important?
3. Would making our final wishes regarding how we wish to be buried be important?
4. Would being kept alive as long as possible be important?
5. Would being kept on pain medication if we are in pain be important?

Solution Preview

a. Describe the changes that are occurring for women and men during the developmental stages of late adulthood and death.

Each developmental life stage has corresponding developmental tasks. For example, in later adulthood (60 to 75 and older) these tasks include: promoting intellectual vigor, redirecting energy to new roles and activities, adopting one's life to the new roles and responsibilities, developing a point of view about death, coping with physical changes of aging and, sometimes, age related disease and chronic pain; losing their spouse to death; and developing a psycho historical perspective of one's life (Developmental Tasks).

It also involves accepting death as the completion of life.(Erikson, 1968).

The experience of dying is one that every human being will experience. Each culture and religion has its own beliefs, attitudes, and rituals regarding death. Death has both physiological and psychological aspects to it. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was the pioneer in bringing the subject of dying out of the closet in our Western culture. She delineated a series of interrelated stages that dying people pass through. In the K├╝bler-Ross Grief Cycle, the stages are: Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Testing, and Acceptance. Though not everyone goes through all of these stages, nor not necessarily in the order she outlined, it does provide an interesting framework for understanding the process of dying. Grief is a highly individualistic human experience that happens when one is dying and/or when one loses a loved one to death. There are stages of grieving, but as with the experience of dying, individuals experience grief in no set order nor in any set time frame. Widowhood is a state that half of all married people will experience. The death of a spouse is one of life's most stressful events. Men and women who experience becoming widowed have both similarities and differences in how they handle this traumatic loss (The Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle).

Women live longer than men and bounce back better from the death of a spouse or a divorce than do men. however, pension policies often favor men, and more women live in poverty or with a lower income than do men (from attached resource, see resource for further discussion).

Death of peers also occurs during late adulthood (Late Adulthood).

b. Explain these changes using the main concepts of the theories relating to late adulthood and death.

For Erik Erikson, late adulthood is the last stage of ...

Solution Summary

By addressing the questions, this solution examines aspects of late adulthood and how to create an ideal environment for an individual in late adulthood. This response is about 1550 words and also is supplemented with references.

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