Lifespan: Late Adulthood Phase

Lifespan Development: Late Adulthood Phase

  When thinking about the changes one experiences throughout their life, you usually think of learning to walk in early childhood, transitioning through puberty in adolescence, and marriage and children in adulthood.   One phase we may overlook is late adulthood and its significance.   Older people, age 65 and up, encompass the fastest growing group in the United States today at 35.9 million. (Polan, 2007)   The growth in this population requires further attention and research in the psychosocial and psychophysical changes that affect the elderly.   Some important factors when exploring later adulthood include, allowing older adults to remain active in society, and the changes in roles that the elderly experience as they proceed through the aging process.   Some oppressive influences that effect older adults and may cause them to disengage are abuse, mental development loss, depression, suicide, and dying.   It is important to have a profound knowledge base of these oppressive influences in order to produce a positive impact on older adults through social work practices and policy.
Activity Theory
      The main premise of activity theory is the more active elderly people are, the more likely they are to be satisfied with life.   Instead of withdrawing themselves from society, they should seek to be more connected with relatives, friends, and community groups.
Individuals seek to maintain continuity, meaning that a person will interact with new experiences in late adulthood the same way they did in earlier periods of their life.
“Dynamic theories suggest that each person’s life is seen as an active, ever-changing, largely self propelled process, occurring within specific social contexts”
(Polan, 2007).   Activity theory represents the need for a parallel structure between dynamic theories and sustaining older adult’s place in society.
Since activity theory stresses the importance of keeping active in life to...