Psych of Aging Final Adams-Price

What are the stages of retirement, and what goes on in each stage? What factors lead some people to have more trouble than others in adjusting to retirement?
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The first stage of preparation centers around trying to figure out what you're going to do in retirement. The honeymoon stage pertains to the early days when you've initially retired, you can sleep in as much as you want, and go/do whatever you want to. The disenchantment stage consists of boredom and wondering if you should go back to work. Factors that could lead to struggling to transition into retirement would be: if the older adult puts his/her identity in their job, they have contracted an illness, they recognize them leaving their job was a disguised layoff, or it is too much change to happen.
Nancy Datan was studying menopause and the various kinds of influence it can have in an older woman's life. The group of Israeli women that had transitional lives struggled most with menopause due to them having no idea what to do with the rest of their life having so much free time. The group of modern women were just happy that menstruation was now over. Lastly she found traditional women were relived childbearing had ceased. Through this study, Nancy Datan discovered that menopause does not always have to be considered a crisis.
Primary changes in sexual functioning that occur in men tend to focus around difficulty attaining or maintaining an erection. This can be the result of medication, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. The primary changes in sexual functioning that occur in older women are related to dryness and the thinning of vaginal walls. This can be helped with the use of hormonal cream or KY jelly. Other issues that can effect sexual functioning are arthritis and chronic pain. The primary reason women tend to stop having sex is because they lack a partner or their partner is unable to have sex anymore.
Dementia and Alzheimer's disease are not considered to be completely separate. Dementia is a set of symptoms that involves the irreversible, slow onset of cognitive decline. Dementia is typically a result of Alzheimer's; however, Alzheimer's is not the only disease that can directly lead to dementia. Alzheimer's disease can be hard to diagnose because there are temporary conditions that can mimic Dementia such as severe depression, delirium when recovering from surgery or have an infection or really dehydrated. In addition to this, there can be side effects from taking multiple medications. Alzheimer's disease is characterized by two abnormalities or changes within the brain. The amyloid plaques are sticky patches of protein surrounded by the debris of dying nerve cells in the brain; Neurofibrillary tangles are the damaged remains of protein called tau, which are required for normal brain function. In Alzheimer's disease, threads of tau protein become twisted, which may damage neurons and cause them to die.
Generativity is the need to leave a legacy of oneself for future generations to come. One way this is expressed in middle aged adults is through communal generativity. This is done by mentoring young adults, raising children, or just caring for others. Communal generativity is especially important for middle aged men. Another way generativity is expressed is through agentic generativity. This is when an individual leaves their mark on the world through their ideas or creative activities; This kind of generativity is more frequently expressed in middle aged women.
The Smith College study of age changes in personality required students to complete a personality test at 19. Twenty five years later, the same students were contacted to take three more personality tests. These tests consisted of what they were like now, what they were like at 19, and what they think a 19 year old would be like. The original personality test taken at 19 was most similar to what they are like now. There was also similarity between what they thought they were like at 19 and what they generally think a 19 year old would be like. Basic personality may change overtime; however, it is typically the result of traumatic experience or situation. Personality is formed at a very young age, but it evolves and matures as we age.
Advanced directive is a broad term pertaining to any legal document that addresses future medical care. A living will is an advance directive; however, it is a written document that specifies what type of medical treatment is desired. A durable power of attorney for health care allows one to appoint a person to make health care decisions if you happen to be too sick to make the decisions for yourself. Living wills allow an individual to make their own decisions when it comes to future treatment that should and should not be used. A durable power of attorney puts these decisions in the hands of someone else that has been specifically chosen.
The stages of dying, in accordance with Kubler-Ross's theory, are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The first stage of denial is used as a defense mechanism by most individual's to help ease anxiety or fearful thoughts that can directly stem from death. The second stage of anger is when an individual feels resentment or anger when trying to accept a diagnosis or death. Instead of responding with support, an individual tends to respond to the anger they feel over a death with returned anger. The third stage is bargaining which consists of an individual trying to bargain for a possible cure, more time with loved ones, or for pain to lessen. The fourth stage is depression which comes when the individual realizes that death is inevitable. Depression can also set in when one begins to grieve what has been lost (possibly health) and what is to be lost in their life (separation from loved ones). The last stage is acceptance; This is the final stage that approaches once an individual has found a sense of peace or calm. Acceptance occurs when an individual' emotions begin to stabilize and come to terms with their "new" reality. One problem with
Kubler-Ross's stages is the lack of sufficient research and evidence that was used to develop these stages. Another problem is that open communication is not used within all families or cultures to discuss the possibility of illness or death. The last problem with these stages is that not every person experiences each of these stages when dealing with death because it is not completely linear.
Deaths can be extremely hard to recover from; however, there are ways to help one accommodate this. One way to initiate recovery would be to accept the reality of the loss. This can be extremely difficult and take a long time to truly face, but it is a great first step. Following this, an individual must truly experience the pain of grief. There is no set process of grieving, so the expression of grief tends to vary for everyone. Next, an individual must assume a new societal role. Learning to accommodate the absence of a loved one is exceedingly hard on its own, let alone building a new social life without them in it. Lastly, reinvesting in new relationships can help an individual recover from the death of a loved one. Being social and building stable relationships is vital as we age and can be even more vital to moving on from a death.
Emotional symptoms of depression consist of feelings of immense sadness, testiness, unhappiness, hopelessness, and self-denigration. Physical symptoms of depression, usually relating to sleep, are sleeping excessively or not enough, waking up very early, and binge eating or starving. Cognitive symptoms include forgetfulness, confusions, and the inability to keep track of life. Cognitive symptoms are more likely to occur in the life of an older adult because of dementia. Depression in late life is different because it tends to go along with other medical issues or disabilities and often lasts longer. Suicide is particularly common in white males due to depression which is likely paired with another problem such as poor health, break up, legal trouble, etc.