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Late Adulthood

years that encompass age 65 and


beyond
other developmental psychologists
further divide later adulthood into:
youngold(ages 6585)
oldold(ages 85 and beyond) stages

Gerontology
- or the study of old age and aging.

Gerontologists
- are particularly interested in confronting
ageism

Ageism

- or prejudice and discrimination against


older adults.
- inevitably means physical decline

Haylick's Cellular-Clock
Theory
explains that
related to age

cellular

division

is

there is less division happening in


middle and late adulthood.
basis for calculating life span across
species, placing us humans in a
"deadline" at 120 years of age.

One possible reason why cellular division


slows down as we age is because of the
progressive reduction of Telomeres that
serve as plugs that protect the tips or the
ends of the chromosomes in the body.
One promising thought of the theory is
the possibility of artificially altering
cellular activity in order to raise life span

Knight's Free Radical Theory


explains that free radicals, unstable
oxygen molecules that freely float in
the body, damage DNA and other
cellular
structures.
His
theory
showed how proper nutrition and
exercise contribute to increasing life
expectancy in humans.

PHYSICAL
DEVELOPMENTS

Weight decline
adults begin to lose weight as muscle
tissue in the body die.
Due lower activity level and lower
food consumption

Bone tissue loss


Declining estrogen production in
menopausal women during middleage could probably explain why 2/3
of
women
in
old
age
have
osteoporosis.

Stopped Dendritic Growth


dendrites (or the
communication
antennae of our
brain cells) grow
at
significantly
lower rate than
normal, and then
stop growing at
the 90s.

Chronic Diseases
arthritis
hypertension
Alzheimer's
Disease

SKIN
Less elastic
More lined and wrinkled
Fingernail growth slows
Oil glands produce less oil (dryer
skin)

HAIR
Hair gradually thin
on scalp, pubic area
and armpits
Hair pigment cell
decline in number
Gray hair growth
increases

Height
By age 80, it's common to have lost
as much as2 in. (5 cm)in height.
This is often related to normal
changes in posture and compression
of joints, spinal bones, and spinal
discs.

Hearing
changes in the ear make highfrequency sounds harder to hear
Changes in tone and speech less
clear

Vision
night visionand visual sharpness to
decline
glare increasingly interferes with
clearvision

Sleep
Changes
insleepandcircadian
rhythmoccur as you age.
sleep less at night, and you may not
sleep as deeply as you did when you
were younger.
you'll wake up during the night
and/or wake up earlier in the
morning.

Cognitive
Development

Cognitive development - there is a


general loss cognitively as people move
closer to the end of life. But there are still
techniques of compensation available.
Selective
optimization
with
compensation is one means of making
best use of their cognitive skills. They
narrow their goals, select personally
valued activities so as to optimize or
maximize returns from their energy. They
find means to compensate for losses

Memory
Older adults are taking in information more slowly,
they use strategies less
cant inhibit irrelevant information and retrieve
important information from long-term memory
memory failure increases.
Slower processing speed means there will be
less retained from current activities
They also forget context, which helps us recall
information. Recognition memory does not
decline as much as free recall.

Deliberate vs. automatic memory


Implicit memory is memory without
conscious awareness. This memory is
more intact than deliberate memory,
trying to recall information.
Associative memory
Associative memory deficit is a
problem creating and retrieving links
between pieces of information. This is
more common for elders

Remote memory is very long-term recall.


It is not any clearer than recent recall for
seniors, even though the myth is that
seniors remember the past better than
recent events.
Autobiographical memory is memory for
your own personally experienced events.
Seniors best recall their adolescent and
early adulthood experiences better than
later life experiences.

Prospective
memory
is
remembering to do planned activities
in the future. There is more
forgetfulness and absentmindedness
as people age. They tend to do
better on event-based memory tasks
than time-based tasks.

Language processing
Two aspects of language processing:
finding the right words
planning what to say and how to say
it

Their speech will have more pronouns,


unclear references, they will speak more
slowly, pause more often, have trouble
finding the right words.
There will be more hesitations, false starts,
sentence fragments, word repetitions as
they age.
They tend to simplify their grammatical
structures, so they can better retrieve the
words they want.

Problem solving
declines in late adulthood so married
people tend to collaborate more in
problem-solving.
They will be better at solving
problems they think are under their
control.
They will make more rapid decisions
in areas of health, as that is an area
they feel they have learned a lot

Wisdom
Includes practical knowledge, ability to reflect on
and apply that knowledge, emotional maturity,
listening skills, and creativity in a way that helps
others.
This does increase with age. It occurs as people
deal with more difficulties in life and find various
means to adapt to change.
Those with wisdom tend to have better education
and are physically healthier. It requires insight into
the human condition and often follows that people
with this ability are found in high positions in
business and politics and religion.

Factors related to Cognitive


change
Mentally active people are likely to
maintain their cognitive abilities into
advanced old age. Retirement can
bring about changes in cognitive
abilities depending on how those
years are used.
Terminal decline is a steady,
marked
decrease
in
cognitive
functioning prior to death.

Cognitive interventions
Lifelong learning
Types of programs include
Elderhostel, which encourages
older adults to live on college
campuses and take courses from
experts, as well as travel the world.
Many universities offer classes at
low or no cost for seniors.

Benefits of continuing education


include learning new information,
understanding new ideas, making
new friends, and developing a
broader perspective on the world.
This may serve to shake up their
stereotypes and value diversity in a
new way.

Emotional
Development

Eriksons theory of Ego Identity vs.


Despair
describes the emotional and social development of
late adulthood. This theory involves coming to
terms with ones life. Those who people who
believe they have had a positive impact on the
world through their contributions feel a sense
of integrity. Those who feel they have not
measured up to standards, either personal or
societal, develop a sense of despair.
Individuals in late adulthood have accumulated a
lifetime of self-knowledge, which allows them
to be more secure of themselves and their
identity than at younger ages.

Adjustment to retirement is a major step in


late adulthood. Adjusting to retirement can
be easy and have no adverse effect on
life satisfaction. Conversely, retirement can
also be stressful, depending on income,
activity level, and social network.
Family and friends play a significant role in
life
satisfaction
by
providing
companionship, as well as sharing activities.
Staying connected to other people promotes
successful aging and people do better if
they continue to engage with life and maintain
close relationships.

STAGES OF GRIEF
People tend to go through five
distinct stages upon dealing with
death and dying called .

Denial
believe there must be some mistake.
They pretend death isn't happening,
perhaps live life as if nothing is
wrong, or even tell people things are
fine.
Underneath
this
facade,
however, is a great deal of fear and
other emotions.

Anger
After people start to realize death is
imminent, they become angry. They
believe life is unfair and usually
blame others for the state of being
they are experiencing.

Bargaining
Once anger subsides, fear sets in
again. Now, however, people plead
with life or a higher power to give
them moretime, to let them
accomplish just one more goal, or for
some other request.

Depression
The realization that death is near
sets
in,
and
people
become
extremely sad. They may isolate
themselves, contemplate suicide, or
otherwise
refuse
to
live
life.Motivationis gone and the will to
livedisappears.

Acceptance
The realization that all forms of life,
including the self, occurs, and people
accept that life is ending. They make
peace with others around them, and they
make the most of the time they have
remaining.

Milestones

Milestones:
resolve the conflict of integrity vs.
despair
opens up opportunities for younger
people
life of quality
knowledgeable about a lot of things
maturation in mind and thought
Retirement
being a grandparent

Questions:
1. What is the study of old age and
aging?
2. Give three examples of physical
developments during old age.
3. What is a steady, marked decrease
in cognitive functioning prior to
death?
4. Which stage of grief shows belief
that life is unfair and usually blame
others for the state of being they

Write A if it refers to Cellular-Clock


Theory, and B if Free Radical Theory
1. explains that cellular division is related to age
2. One promising thought of the theory is the
possibility of artificially altering cellular activity
in order to raise life span
3. explains that free radicals, unstable oxygen
molecules that freely float in the body, damage
DNA and other cellular structures. His theory
showed how proper nutrition and exercise
contribute to increasing life expectancy in
humans.