Middle and Late Adulthood and Death and Dying
- Midwestern State University
- Psychology ?
- Middle and Late Adulthood and Death and Dying
Last Modified: 2011-07-18
Increasingly conscious of time.
Seek to transmit something meaningful to the next generation.
Career achievement and satisfaction.
Height and Weight Changes:
Lose up to 2 inches in height (most in women).
----Osteoporosis - severe age-related bone loss affects 40% of postmenopausal women.
Higher proportion of body fat. (20% or more)
Increasing rate of obesity. (1/3 Middle Aged Adults)
Difficulty seeing in low light.
Adult onset hearing loss.
Affects about 50% of individuals over age 50. ( Earlier in men.)
--rare in early adulthood
--increase during middle adulthood
--common in late adulthood
(Men chronic disorders are more often fatal.)
--50% die before receiving treatment.
--15% die during treatment
-- 10% die later
3 Cerebrovascular Disease
5. Pulmonary Disease
28% of Middle Aged Adults suffer from cardiovascular disease.
Cancer - know symptoms, self-exams, regular check-ups and screening, avoid tobacco, sun exposure, pollutants, x-rays, healthy diet.
Dramatic drop in estrogen. (less eggs released by ovaries)
---side effects vary dramatically from woman to woman.
--There are cross-cultural variations. ( Women are more effected by menopause in the Western Culture.)
Effects 22% of men over 40.
75% result from physiological issues (smoking, diabetes, cardiovascular disease)
Causes - Unknown. (There is only a slight decrease in testosterone levels but doesn't relate to erectile dysfunction.)
--Increases through middle adulthood.
John Horn - increasing crystallized intelligence.
But if there was longitudinal data used, instead of showing declines, it shows that people find their peak in Middle Adulthood. May be due to Cohort Effects (different generations of learning)
--Begins to decline in middle adulthood. (John Horn)
--Basic information processing skills.
Causes may occur at different levels:
-neuroanatomical (neurons die off)
Decrease in working memory capacity.
Long-term memory is less reliable.
Retrieval takes longer.
Requires many years of experience, learning and effort.
Occurs more often in middle adulthood.
-Focus on finding new knowledge
-Self-focused, egocentric goals
- Focus on integrated ideas
-Other-focused, altruistic goals
Stagnation: a sense of self-absorption that develops when individuals feel they've done little or nothing for the next generation.
- A way to achieve a sense of immortality
- Focus on the continuation and improvement of society
To have Generativity, you need to focus your attention outward. If focused inward, you are in stagnation. (Give other than take.)
--Interviewed 40 middle-aged men.
--Had inevitable, overt crisis between age 45-50
--70 - 80% found transition painful
-- Develop more realistic goals & self-image
--Mostly white, well-educated, middle/upper class men.
--Survived depression & WWII
Crisis may be due to Cohort Effects
-- Midlife is just another transition, not a crisis
Little change in personality traits over time.
Personality is most stable in midlife.
--Traits become more stable but are never fixed
--As we age, stability outweighs change.
--The most turbulent marriages have divorce
-- Greater financial security
--More time for shared activities
Satisfaction increases after adult children depart.
77% have no parents alive
--Caring for elderly parents often viewed as nonnormative
Torn between love and resentment
--decreased energy, stamina
--feel out of touch with younger generation
--Sense of purpose
--U.S. = 77.6 years
--Differs across groups within a country and genders
--Low rates of disease
--Good mental health
--Ability to cope with stress
--Decrease in dendrites
--Loss of myelination
-- Neuron loss
-- Decrease in the prefrontal cortex (working memory, impulse)
--Only in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb
--Only last a few weeks.
Dendritic growth also occurs and may compensate for some neuron loss.
Older adults are more likely than younger adults to use both hemisheres of the brain simultaneously.
Positive emotion in autobiographies were linked with lower mortality rates.
Teachers showed fewer declines than service professions.
-- Increased brain weight
-- decreased cognitive impairment
-- decreased symptoms of Alzheimer Disease
Shorter, smaller, grayer, more wrinkles
Motor Development: slows for all difficult leveled movements
--less light reaches retina
--yellowing of lens
--loss of photo-sensitive cells in the retina
Glare Difficulty ( After 75)
-Causes cloudy, opaque, distorted vision
-Affects 30% of adults 70+
-Occurs from pressure due to fluid build-up in the eye
--Loss of vision in the center of the field (macula)
--Leading cause of blindness in old age
15% of adults over 65 are legally deaf
Hearing loss is due to damage in the cochlea
Many adults may not recognize loss or may deny it
A reduced enjoyment of food may lead to decreased life satisfaciton.
4. Chronic lung disease
5. Pneumonia and influenza
7. Accidents (falls)
100,000 will die as a result of complications.
-Prevention of chronic diseases
-reduced motor declines
-reduced mental health problems
-improved cognitive function
Weekly recommend :
aerobic - 5 + days
strength - 2 + days
3% of adults 65+ are in nursing homes
23% of 85+ are in nursing homes
1/2 were dependent
-- Mortality rate in the dependent group was 2X higher.
Implicit - Procedural, Conditioned Responses
Less likely to be adversely affected by aging.
Episodic declines more than semantic memory in late adulthood.
Episodic memory declines more than semantic memory
--Considerable decline in late adulthood.
--Lined to declines in working memory.
Today's workers spend 10-15% of life in retirement.
Older adults increasing work after retiring
-2/3 were happy to return
-1/3 returned for money only
(Ageist stereotypes can limit opportunities)
-loss of ability to care for themselves and recognize familiar surroundings and people.
- 20% of adults over 80.
Characterized by gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and eventually physical function. (breathing)
In 2005, 4.5 million U.S. adults were affected.
Deficiency in ACTH
Amyloid Plaques - deposits of protein accumulating in blood vessels.
Neurofibrillary Tangles: twisted fibers that build up in neurons.
-Age is a risk factor
-Lack of exercise
(same as cardiovascular risks)
-Characterized by muscle tremors, slowing of movement, and partial facial paralysis
-Triggered by degeneration of neurons that produce dopamine
-Feeling whole, complete and satisfied with life choice and achievements
-Acceptance of setbacks and disappointments
-A sense of meaning
- Feeling that you've made mistakes and that it is too late to fix them.
- Anxiety about death.
- Angry and isolated
- Triggered by awareness of death
- Better understanding, resolution of problems
- Sharing with others, may improve memory
- May become obsessed with past (rumination)
- May cause psychological dysfunction
- Prefer familiar people and rewarding relationships because they recognize that their time is limited and they don't want to waste it with difficult relationships.
1. Selection - older adults have a reduced capacity and loss of functioning. (focus on the most important goal at a particular time. to reach a particular goal, you may need to abandon other goals.)
2. Optimization - maintain performance in some areas through practice and use of new technologies. (Keep working on what you have planned until you are successful. Persevere and keep trying until you reach your goal.)
--Hope related activities ----longer lifespan
--A hoped for possible self --- more hope-related activities.
--Negative : incapable of thinking clearly, learning, contributing working
--Discrimination: not hired, forced into retirement, shunned socially
Dependency of the victim
dependency of the perpetrator
history of family violence
1-2 million people
21% cases reported
Varies by gender and ethnicity
1/3 live alone
1/2 of older women 75 years + live alone.
Daughters are more likely to live with elder parents.
Marital satisfaction is U shaped.
- many consequences ( money, social, physical)
-Negative social reaction
-Children supportive of remarriage.
Help find acceptance.
Links to hobbies and organizations.
Leads to improved physcial and mental health and reduces symptoms of disease.
3. Long-term care facility
Passive and Active
--Have been diagnosed with depression
--have a lower functional living status
Express desires for life-prolonging actions.
- Believe that patients should make health-care decisions.
- Have less death anxiety
- Have survived the painful death of a loved one.
Adolescents - death is permanent and biological, unrealistic beliefs (suicide)
Early Adulthood - Unique Invulnerability - bad things including death, only happen to others, nursing students show less fear
Middle and Late Adults - Death affects roles within families and org., awareness of death shapes one's view of time.
Belief that live has purpose/meaning
- Denial and Isolation
- Depression (universal)
Problems: didn't give all info, these can come and go
-- Prolonged Grief
-- Disenfranchised grief
Linked to physical and mental health declines.
- 80% buried
- Wide cultural variation.
Words From Our Students
"StudyBlue is great for studying. I love the study guides, flashcards, and quizzes. So extremely helpful for all of my classes!"
Alice, Arizona State University
"I'm a student using StudyBlue, and I can 100% say that it helps me so much. Study materials for almost every subject in school are available in StudyBlue. It is so helpful for my education!"
Tim, University of Florida
"StudyBlue provides way more features than other studying apps, and thus allows me to learn very quickly! I actually feel much more comfortable taking my exams after I study with this app. It's amazing!"
Jennifer, Rutgers University
"I love flashcards but carrying around physical flashcards is cumbersome and simply outdated. StudyBlue is exactly what I was looking for!"