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- Shane Quigley
In this essay, I will be discussing the changing care needs through the life stage of my case study Margret whose name has been changed to protect the confidentiality of the person. I will be taking you through the development of late adulthood, the development of Margret, factors affecting Margret and my recommendations on helping Margret’s personal needs. The information provided will be mostly personal life experience from my module book and some internet pages.
Development during Late Adulthood
Aging affects people differently from person to person, but generally in late adulthood people experience both gains and losses. People lose their instant energy a younger person may have, but the ability to conserve energy is gained for future activities when needed. Age also brings a better sense of patience, experience, wisdom and understanding one may not have had before as a person has seen and experienced changes in their life before, this wisdom improves the quality of life regardless of the physical changes that may occur.
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Physical changes in the body in late adulthood are inevitable no matter how healthy a life you live but maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle coupled with daily exercise can help you live a better quality of life and may keep the body and mind fresh into late adulthood too. Primary aging in late adulthood has an effect on appearance, sensation and motor abilities. A person in late adulthood may have more wrinkles as less collagen is produced in skin, skin becomes less elastic it also becomes thinner. Warts and skin tags and liver spots may form around the body as well as noticeable blood vessels. The hair may thin and turn grey as melanin is not produced as frequently in the body as before and height is decreased as bone density decreases.
Intellectually in late adulthood the senses begin to decrease or dull in this stage of life the lenses of the eye discolour and are rigid, making the perception of colour harder to interpret, reading may also become difficult without the proper corrective glasses. Hearing also decreases in this stage , especially being able to hear high-pitched sounds, as a result of this paranoia may develop and could develop a level of unfound distrustfulness in response to not being able to hear well, as they could not interpret if the person was talking about them or not, this can be corrected with proper diagnosed hearing aids which are widely available.
Also cognitive changes in late adulthood are not rare, memory fades as we age, however some people defy the general trends and can maintain their mental sharpness into their late stage of life through keeping their mind active and alert as much as possible. The theorist Jean-Piaget believed this is the formal-operative thinking stage in late adulthood, hypothetical problem solving skills decline, but decision making is faster and more logical and focused. Research has shown that keeping the body physically fit can attribute to staving off mental illnesses and other cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Eriksson’s theory of Identity vs. Despair best described the social and emotional development of late adulthood. As the theory involves coming to terms with the decisions you made in life. Those who view they have achieved a sense of integrity view their life in a larger context and are more at ease with themselves and accept their life course. People in late adulthood have experienced a lifetime of knowledge, which can make them feel more secure with themselves which they may not have had when they were younger. Adjusting to retirement is vital and a big step in this stage, adjusting can be easy and have no adverse affects on their life. On the other hand some people may find it hard adjusting depending on their emotional state, income and social network. Friends and family play a significant role in late adulthood in maintaining good life satisfaction by providing companionship and doing social activities. Staying in contact with people promotes successful aging and people do better if they continue to engage with life and maintain close friendships and relationships.
Margret Development and Personal Prejudices, Fears and Anxieties
Physically Margret has no major illnesses thankfully for her age, she just has the characteristics of primary aging such as wrinkles and sagging skin but her hearing and sight is quite sound for her age. She does not need the use of hearing aids and only uses reading glasses to read, mobility is fine as she does not need the use of a walking stick or wheelchair and frequently walks every day up the town and to the library.
Intellectually Margret keeps her mind active and has no mental-illnesses or diseases, she does this through her hobbies such as reading, playing Sudoku and other mind puzzles and crosswords in her favourite newspaper The DailyMail. Also her frequent trips to the library to read up on fiction and the World Wars during the week helps keep her mind active and fresh, as-well as walking which has been proven to keep the mind mentally stable. She also attends the local bingo with friends, bingo keeps the mind fresh as you constantly have to be aware your numbers are being called and have to keep the brain focused as you pay attention.
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Emotionally and Socially Margret has a close knit of friends she keeps in touch with regularly from childhood and the group she goes to bingo with. Family is very important to Margret. She has just one daughter and two grandchildren which she sees twice a week. This means the world to Margret especially after losing her spouse two years ago to cancer. Margret says she is blessed with her daughter and grandchildren and is grateful of the group of friends she has to make her happy especially when her husband died. She also attends mass every Sunday in her local church. Spirituality is very important for change in late adulthood and religion plays a big role in Margret’s life and accompanied with church, she also goes to Lourdes once a year. These social activities help keep Margret in touch with other likeminded people and promote a healthy social lifestyle.
My own personal prejudices, fears and anxieties regarding late adulthood would probably be the youth of today as I think they do not have the same respect as the past generation had. I would be fearful when I grow older into this stage travelling on public transport as I think the youths on public transport can be quite loud, intimidating and sometimes aggressive, and can be quite the stressful and terrifying experience especially at night time. When you reach a certain age, you are forced to use public transport as your license is taken away from you. You lose that freedom you once had, that sense of independence is gone and in my opinion you feel like you are being treated like a child not a valued member of society. Fear and anxieties would that be finically, the economy the way it is at the moment may reduce or take away the pension. I also fear I wouldn’t be able to afford the necessities I need to live, that I would a burden to my loved ones if I got ill. Also a big fear/anxiety is that I could develop a cognitive illness such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, that if this happened who would look after me, that I would be too much of a burden on family and might end up in a nursing home. Another fear is that may not be able to leave enough money for my children and the cost of the funeral would be left for them to fund.
Variations/Factors affecting Individual at this stage of life
Mobility in later life can be a concern as primary aging causes a decrease in bone density and organs in general but with Margret’s frequent walking into town and the library every day, she is delaying this decline of the bones as much as possible. Another factor is you memory fading and potentially getting a cognitive illness in this stage of life. Finically at this moment in time since she is on a widowers pension and is surviving comfortably at the moment. Socially and emotionally she is afraid of the well-being of her friends at this moment as some of them have fallen ill as she is close to them and relies in them for support after her husband’s passing.
Recommendations to respond confidently to the needs of the person & Conclusion
I would recommend in conclusion that Margret should go to the doctors at least once a month to make sure she is fit and healthy, also to get her eyes checked in the opticians to see if she needs other glasses to see with. And to get her ears checked to see if hearing aids are needed. I would recommend more regularly exercise on top of her walking like joining her local gym. In some places the over sixty-fives can join for free and most places do a discounted offer for O.A.P’s, there is also a social benefit to going to the gym too as you are out of the house, meeting similar aged people too and aids cardiovascular and respiratory functions, slows the loss of muscle and helps with the decline of bone density and promotes sound sleep and fights depression. I would make sure she has a healthy diet which includes a balanced diet, less sugar and plenty of water as-well as multi-vitamins supplements with plenty of fresh fruit and fresh food to provide optimal organ function. Also to avoid smoking which she has not done throughout her life anyway. Also to cut out excessive alcohol consumption, Margret may have two glasses of wine a day. I would recommend cutting back to one to reduce risk of liver damage. I would recommend trying to reduce as much stress in her life and keeping up as much social activities as possible to promote healthy well-being mentally and physically to aid cognitive functioning and prevent depression. I would also recommend trying new skills and try new activities to aid mental activity and promote healthy mental functioning.
5M4339 Shane Quigley
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