Late Adulthood
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Late Adulthood
Axia University
PSY 375
August 6, 2012
Late Adulthood
Mark Twain expressed the wisest attitude regarding old age: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you do not mind, it does not matter.”
As a person evolves through the various phases of life span development, there are specific intervals of maturity. However, aging does not guarantee that the body and mind will become dysfunctional, if he or she has led a healthy, active life. Granted, the longer a person lives, it is inevitable that the persons body will deteriorate, and the mind will not function cognitively as it once did in younger days. Within this essay, a discussion concerning how aging individuals can promote health and wellness, and alleviate the negative effects of aging. Additionally, a discussion regarding ageism and the stereotypes associated with late adulthood. A symposium, vis-a-vis, the discussion of death will be included, and an examination of various cultural mind-sets concerning death and dying.

Late Adulthood Health and Wellness
There are numerous theories concerning how the elderly can retain a healthy and active lifestyle. The level of activity determines how many years a person will live a healthy life. The activity theory or common sense theory asserts that if a person does not use it, he or she will lose it. The activity theory asserts that activity is necessary to sustain a quality life (Bedny, Meister, 1997). It does not matter the age of the person it is of utmost importance that the person remains physically, mentally, and socially active.

A major problem among the elderly is that they begin to lose the identity the possessed when they worked or had a significant part of the family life. These factors helped him or her determine their significance in life. However, the best outcomes are when a person continues to participate in activities, which they have performed throughout their life, such as golf, baseball, walking, and swimming. Consequently, if the person continues to partake in activities and intermingle socially, he or she will achieve a higher quality of life and tend to be healthier and live longer because it enhances a sense of self (Kossuth, Bengtson, 1988).

An additional contributing factor for the elderly to remain healthy is consuming the proper food, which means including fruits, vegetables, and certain vitamins. Vitamins are an important component in essentially all the significant occurrences in the body (Zelman, 2012). Vitamins facilitate the production of vigor, hormones, immune cells and neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers in the brain (Zelman, 2012). Vitamins are classified in two general categories fat-soluble and water-soluble (Background Info on Synthetic vs. Natural Vitamins, n.d.). The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K: water-soluble vitamins are Bs and C (Zelman, 2012).

Furthermore, an extremely essential vitamin is Folate, which is the idiom to depict diverse forms of the B vitamin. Research has determined that folate may help to protect against cancers of the colon, cervix, and rectum (Zelman, 2012). A persons body requires Folate to produce the proteins which build, maintain, and repair the bodys tissues, a process that continues throughout the lifespan.

A healthy diet will reduce the risks of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and strokes; and will assist to enhance psychological and physical wellbeing. Moreover, protein is vital in the diet of people of all ages, because proteins are separated into individual amino acids, and are used to build, repair, and maintain the bodys skin, muscles, and internal organs (Webb, 2007). Nuts, fish, eggs, and soy protein provide amino acids to the body.

An additional, extremely vital nutrient for the body is water. Water has a ubiquitous existence in the body, but is involved in every metabolic process: digestion, absorption of nutrients, blood circulation, maintaining proper body temperature, cushioning joins and organs, the elimination of toxic metabolic byproducts from the body (Webb, 2007).

Ageism and Stereotypes
Ageism is a kind of discrimination, which is expressed in a variety of methods. Negative attitudes or incorrect beliefs towards the elderly, especially concerning incompetence, attractiveness, and job discrimination and cognitive skills are an abbreviated list of the stereotypes of the elderly. Part of the problem is the media depicts the elderly as sitting in rocking chairs in front of the television. However, it is not just the media that proliferates negative elderly stereotypes; these assumptions are formed partially from what social scientists call the psychologists fallacy. The psychologists fallacy is when another persons state of mind is judged based on personal experiences and perception (Scheve & Venzon. 2009).

A popular stereotypical image is that the elderly are not interested in the outside world. Perhaps a minority of elderly feels this way; however, more individuals that are elderly are taking part in continuing education programs. The Author of this paper received an Associates Degree at the age of 67, and is working to successfully receive Bachelors Degree at the age of 68.

An additional stereotype is that the older generation has lost interest in sex and intimacy. This could not be any further from the truth. Information from a comprehensive survey concerning sex of older adults found that positive sexual relationships were associated with overall well-being (Law, 2010). Although, most over 70 individuals who participated in the survey said that sex became less important as people get older. In the same survey 35 percent said that sex is only for married couples, and less than 10 percent said sex is only for the young (Law, 2010). This author has personal knowledge of a man who was able to have sex with his wife until he was 90 years of age. The man had read that having sex would prevent him from developing prostate cancer, and he was not taking any chances.

Cultural Attitudes Towards Death and Dying
Different cultures have a variety of perspectives on death and dying. For example, the Jewish people believe it is an inevitable part of life, and the dead must be respected. Accordingly, the Jewish people have a guideline for dealing with sorrow, so that the mourners

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Negative Elderly Stereotypes And Water-Soluble. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from