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Lifespan Development, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 687

Essay

Aging, illness, death, and dying are stages of life that are irreversible. Paradoxically, people who are more successful in healthy aging as well as longevity have higher chances for death being part of their lives. With the aging of an individual, family members and friends face death. If they are caught in unprepared situation, then they may be subjected to depression which is commonly associated with aging. Devising an approach of coping with death during an individual life requires development of anti-aging skills (Lerner, 2002).

At the age of 65, an individual is considered to enter in to the old age stage. This is the age at which people are supposed to derive satisfaction along with meaning from life instead of becoming disillusioned as well as bitter. This is the best approach of resolving the conflict associated with integrity versus despair (Bornstein & Lamb, 2005). Although many problems are closely linked to longevity, aging is not necessarily associated with physical and mental deterioration in majority of people. A high number of people in their old age lead a happy and active life

Integrity in the perspective of psychology has the implication of healthy ego development. In the lifespan of an individual, a variety of development stages must be encountered and ego integrity is usually the last stage.  Each of the stages is involved with a particular kind of crisis which should be resolved to pave way for the proceeding stage. Integrity versus despair stage is reached by most adults at the age of 60 years. At this stage, the crisis should be resolved amicably to achieve a rounded and holistic perception of life. If this is not achievable, then despair along with depression are generated (Bornstein & Lamb, 2005). Older people at this juncture require to be supported and given close association to navigate through this developmental stage without despair and depression. If the older adults are well adjusted in this particular stage, then their young ones will have less fear towards aging and also death (Bornstein & Lamb, 2005).

Reminder for mortality is associated with this stage and it is the cause of the crisis. With the onset of aging in people, close friends as well as family members die therefore triggering fears of illness, worries, death, and dying. Older people start reflecting on their past lives with particular focus on their success and failures. A successful reflection of the past facilitates successful resolution of the crisis. The individual becomes comfortable with lifetime choices and the contributions made to the society and thus enters the wisdom stage (Bornstein & Lamb, 2005).

On the other hand, if the reflection of the past during integrity depicts failure, then the person enters in a state of despair.  This is the onset of developing distress along with depression in old people. Majority of the older people are isolated and they therefore lack adequate support from young ones, other family members and also friends. It is good to talk to these older people at this juncture with the aim of getting a resolution to the crisis associated with integrity versus despair (Lerner, 2002).

The people working with the older people together with the professionals in health care require a high profile awareness which will facilitate for their efficiency in service delivery. Professionals in human services in fields like the health, welfare as well as rehabilitation perceive death to be mortal enemy. They are involved in programs intended at life preservation. Consequently, counselors in rehabilitation, nurses, social workers, physicians, among other community workers who are charged with responsibilities of caring for the aged engage in activities aimed at death prevention for the clients. They may be provided with hospice where they can easily access drugs to reduce pain, programs of insurance and assistance services from the government with respect to their health care (Lerner, 2002). Older people should be made to access the relevant community interactions to facilitate a smooth transition through integrity versus despair stage as they also collect information about historic as well as cultural interests.

References

Bornstein, M.H. & Lamb, M.E. (2005). Developmental science. NJ: Erlbaum.

Lerner, R.M. (2002). Concepts & theories of human development. NJ: Erlbaum.

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