Invitation to the Life Spanby Kathleen Stassen Berger Chapter 15: Late Adulthood Psychosocial Development
Theories of Late Adulthood • Self Theories: emphasize an individual's perceptions of themselves and the active part played by each person in fulfilling his or her potential • Selective optimization with compensation: individuals set goals, assess their abilities, and figure out how to accomplish desired achievement despite later life limitations • Selective optimization with compensation is central to self theories.
Theories of Late Adulthood • Positivity effect: involves the tendency to remember the positive more than the negative • Selective memory is a way to compensate for whatever troubles occur.
Theories of Late Adulthood • Stratification Theories: major set of theories which maintain that social forces are powerful; a person’s ability to function depends largely on which stratum of society he or she is located in • Disengagement Theory: theory of development maintains that during late adulthood the individual and society mutually withdraw • Activity Theory: older people need to and want to remain actively involved with relatives, friends, and community groups; the more active the elderly are, the greater their life satisfaction and the longer their life
Activities in Late Adulthood • Activities • Work: • Employment • Volunteering • Continuing Education • Religious Involvement • Political Activism: groups like AARP advocate for the elderly
The Frail Elderly • Frail elderly: people over age 65, and often over age 85, who are very ill or cognitively impaired • Activities of Daily Life (ADL’s): Actions that are important to independent living, typically identified as five tasks of self-care: • Inability to perform any of these tasks is a sign of frailty
Caring for the Frail Elderly • Family caregivers experience substantial stress, resentment and social isolation; the risk of depression, poor health, and abuse increases Abuse is likely when: • the care receiver has severe memory loss • the caregiver is a drug-addicted relative • care occurs in an isolated place • visitors are few and far between • Elders who are mistreated by family members are ashamed to admit it • Outright abuse is now rare in nursing homes
The Frail Elderly • Assisted living: which involves privacy and independence for the resident along with medical supervision • Facilities range from group homes for 3-4 to large apartments or townhouse developments for hundreds of residents
Activities in Late Adulthood • Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC): neighborhood or apartment complex whose population is mostly retired people who moved there as younger adults and never left • An important reason for both aging in place and NORCs is the social convoy, the result of years of close relationships.