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Late Adulthood and End of Life

Essay by   •  January 11, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,339 Words (6 Pages)  •  2,031 Views

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The changes that are made in late adulthood are not as progressive as they were in the earlier stages of development but just as significant as one travels toward the end of life. This presentation will explore some of different phases during late adulthood through death. It will analyze the importance of health and wellness into late adulthood and show the negative effects of poor choices. It will also examine how ageism and stereotypes are associated with late adulthood. I will attempt to show how death is viewed at different times during human development and how different cultures view death and dying.

Promote Health and Wellness

Due to medical science and our changing lifestyles along with the changing point of view toward health the longevity in the United States is gradually increasing. Lifestyle modifications are beneficial at any age to the quality of life as it slows down the development of secondary aging, which refers to the beginning of disease. There are many ways in which one can improve his/her health. The number one and most important way is through exercise. Although many older adults experience a decline in mobility and energy that may discourage many from carrying out routine exercise even a moderate course of therapy can improve mobility and increased health benefits. Some of the benefits to physical activity is to strengthen in one's heart and respiratory performance, it will slow down loss of muscle, improve bone mass, improve sleep habits, assist in digestion, and helps to prevent the feeling of hopelessness (Kurtus, 2005).

Another way to improve one's health by changing one's eating habits. Such as, choosing a low fat diet and getting plenty of water is necessary to maintaining a healthy weight and helps the body's organs to function better. Adding vitamin supplements are imperative to one's health due to their importance in preventing deficiencies later in life. Such as vitamin B12 which could trigger problems with memory down the line. Being aware of the medications one takes can help with making better food choices to help balance the vitamins they may affect. Taking an aspirin for the heart may lead to a deficiency in vitamin C. Taking prescription antibiotics may decrease absorption of vitamin K, calcium, and iron. Antacids are known to reduce the ability of the body to absorb proteins. What about that coffee you drink? Caffeine is a diuretic and reduces the water content in the body (Berger, 2008, p.668).

Other changes that can improve one's health are to quit smoking or drinking. Are you aware that smoking quickly speeds up the aging process? The woman pictured on this PowerPoint is 29 years old. <Pause> Okay, she's not 29 years old just wanted to get your attention. Smoking is still extremely dangerous to your skin. In fact, second only to the sun, cigarette smoke ages the human skin faster than anything else. When you stop smoking you could be reducing the risk of heart disease, bronchitis, cancer, and emphysema. By minimizing the use of alcohol you lessen the risk of liver disease, cancers, stress, and anxiety and which helps to strengthen the immune system. By learning new skills such as starting a hobby or just getting involved in mental activities can help in promoting cognitive and mental functions.

Ageism and Stereotypes

Ageism is defined by Webster as "prejudice or discrimination against a particular age-group and especially the elderly" (Meriam-Webster, 2011) Ageism and the stereotypes it inflicts is the reason mature adults feel patronized, secluded, hopeless, powerless, and even disregarded; it diminishes their self-importance, activity levels , social connection and even their psychological well-being. "If the elderly fear losing their minds because they have internalized the idea that old age brings dementia, that fear may become a stereotype threat, undermining normal thinking"(Berger, 2008, p.660). I can remember my aunt as she was getting older how she felt. One day she went to the doctor and when she came back I asked her what the doctor had to say. She was furious. When I asked what was wrong she said "he said this was a normal process for senior citizens, do you think I am old and crazy?" She was in the late seventies at the time. We have to be careful of



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