Work in Middle Adulthood
My friend’s mother (O., 47 y.o.) was highly frustrated with her current job. However, fear of job loss could not make her wish for changes. Moreover, O. was afraid that she would not get another job because of her age and sex, while employers are more likely to prefer and hire young people willing to work in the sphere. Therefore, she suffered from stagnation for several years without changing the situation until she summoned courage and found a new job consistent with her understanding of a fair workplace. Thus, occupational issues are “serious concerns for midlife workers,” as Kraynok et al. note (2017, p. 531). Crisis or not, O. started to realize the upcoming aging downsides and demonstrated signs of depression.
It is stated in the textbook that divorce for women at middle adulthood ages lowers the standards of living dramatically and increases the chances of depression (Kraynok et al., 2017). However, some evidence shows that divorce nowadays does not necessarily lead women to a miserable life. A friend of our family (V.), 45 years old with two sons, got divorced and mourned the broken relationship for three months, then she completely changed her life and became happy. V. suddenly began to realize what she had long dreamed of. She started experimenting with her career and got promoted, while previously, she had been more involved in her husband’s well-being and career. Also, V. now has plenty of time for her hobbies and self-care. Modern women are more financially independent, and the data from the textbook appears to be outdated concerning the issue.
Physical Functioning in Late Adulthood
Despite the human body being predisposed to changes and predestined to get weaker, some examples overturn the aging concept. Mrs. T. from the neighborhood is a very active lady. She admits that she doesn’t like to procrastinate. In her nineties, Mrs. T does stretching, squats, push-ups every day, as she got used to an active lifestyle at her young age. On her 90th birthday, she put on a white dress, straw hat and went to the coffee shop with her children and grandchildren. As a result, the woman does not look her age: she is healthy and rarely experiences problems connected with the aging process. Kraynok et al. (2017) claim that aerobic exercises can slow aging, preventing cardiovascular and respiratory issues. Thus, the active lifestyle, indeed, slows down aging.
Early retirement is believed to deprive a person of the meaning of life. A similar situation had a severe effect on my neighbor’s (T.) psyche, which also affected his health. The man was retired with honors from an admired job at the factory. Nevertheless, T.’s usual daily routine, to which he has long been accustomed, was disrupted. He quickly acquired the appearance of an ill person. For some people, retirement is a symbol of approaching old age and death, so it seems clear why people postpone this decision for as long as possible.
Before physical death, older people are predisposed to social death. Once I heard a story of an older man who had lost his beloved wife and refused to communicate with any other people in the community. His children appeared to be indifferent to their father’s fate and left him to die. His life could be prolonged if the children cared for and offered support. Therefore, it is likely that relatively small shocks caused by the experience of social death lead to age-related diseases and physical death.
Kraynok, M. C., Seifert, K., Hoffnung, R. J., & Hoffnung, M. (2017). Lifespan development (3rd ed.). Academic Media Solutions.