The aging process is a combination physical, physiological, and social change which all includes slowing down of most processes of the body. As people grow old, what they know slowly changes and some of the changes are abrupt. Changes take place and one can lose their self worth, for instance, a parent who was previously was working as a teacher may look lucky having not to wake up early but in real sense much of his/her identity may be wrapped up in his/her job as a teacher helping learners. As people age, bones and muscles become weaker; reflexes are slow, and the whole body becomes frail.
As people age, they refuse to follow mostly their childrens advice ; they seem obsessed with their past, and they move with glacial pace with which they make decisions and move through the world. This bridges a communication gap since dealing with parents can be fraught with tension and frustration, but the society takes for granted that old age is a time of decline rather than development and personal growth. In this situations, it is impossible to avoid the idea of death, and it becomes realer and-and can often be a source of uncertainty and dread. Some struggles with anxiety linked to pre-mortality concerns such as:
- What if I lose my mental faculty?
- What if my health becomes poor, will I do what I love doing best?
- How will I cope with losing my dear ones?
Lose of independence
as people age, they become physically unable to engage in certain physical activities, and this makes them dependent on their caretakers .This frustrates most of them as they see themselves as burdens, they mourn their loss of independence as they have to rely on others even on essential care.
This makes them talk mostly about their health since they consider that their falling bodies are denying them the right to live and enjoy what they love doing best. According to Mary paper,"illness is the battleground of old age" so they talk to work through their traumas
Memory and learning
As a person grows old, they remain as intelligent as young people, but they get information at a slow pace or must repeat a new skill several times before the steps become second nature.Poor memory becomes part of them .If your family member has not experienced has not suffered a brain injury or some cognitive illness then his forgetfulness consists only of brief memory lapses which are normal occurrences in later life and are more of a source of annoyance rather than an area for concern so if a parent forgets important dates and events like doctors appointments it may be because the information does not remain long enough on the short term memory bank long enough to be transferred to the long-term memory.
Grief and loss
As a person ages, he/she is confronted with the fact that death and loss are inevitable. The society tends to assume that an elder member of the society is used to death. Hence, they ignore him/her when they are faced with the loss of a loved one. This leads to feelings of loneliness and depression. He/she must also face the fact that family members or people that they care about may pass way ahead of him or her. This makes them feel vulnerable and abandoned.
Ageism and discrimination
Ageism is described as discrimination due to a person's age. Most seniors struggle with stigmas placed on them by a youth-oriented society. Sadly; older people are dismissed as unsuitable employers and people who are done with active employment. The neglect by the workplace and the media leads to a widespread misconception about the lifestyles and usefulness of our elderly citizens. Apart from that, there is also an alarming amount of ageism in the medical field whereby doctors work hard to preserve the lives of the younger generation, ignoring the elder members of the society and making them feel worthless. a survey conducted at John Hopkins University school of medicine reveals that 80% of students treat pneumonia aggressively in a girl aged 10 but only 56% can do the same for the people aged 85.
Forces that shape our aging parents' behavior
According to toHuman Development theory by psychologist Erik Erickson, humans go through distinct stages as they grow from infanthood to adulthood. These stages are dominated by what Erickson terms as growth facilitating crisis. By resolving this crisis, we are able to move on to the next development stage.
most elder people also experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder as they struggle to hold on to what remains and to come to terms with their losses, they are engaged in an effort to shape and understand their legacy that is, to comprehend what their life has meant and the memories that live on as they die
Coming to terms with one's legacy is a tremendous job, according to Solie, and has a powerful effect on a person action whether they are aware or not
Adult children tend to be in the dark about what is going on parents' lives but on knowing the information above the solutions to aging parents are:
Be vigilant Caretakers and children should be vigilant when it comes to their parents so as to be able to detect any sign of a problem. Most elderly people will not voice out their problems since they consider it to be a burden, for example, when a person is in pain or having some form of discomfort, their gestures and expressions will give away what they are going through hence it is up to the caregivers to be observant and come up with solutions to assist the aging parent
Initiate conversations-most elderly citizens experience loneliness and are mostly deep in thought. To help them maneuver through that jungle, a loved one should or can initiate them in a healthy conversation that will keep their minds active and will enable them to think clearly
Being sensitive to their needs-as a person advances in age, many things about them change ranging from their diet to their preferences of clothing and furniture. Children or caretakers should be sensitive to their aging parents' needs and work to provide a suitable environment according to the elders' choice. For example, elder people's teeth tend to weaken or most times shed off hence eating things extra solid is not an option for them. Another example is the growth of cataracts on one's eyes; this can be solved by an operation to remove the cataract or to wear of spectacles, depending on someones preference hence children should be sensitive to the fact that the parent can no longer see well and requires some sort of additional assistance.
Listening to them-listening to elder people gives them a sense of belonging. Many of them may bring up topics that seem unrelated to the matter at hand; this is the only way to keep their memory alive hence encouraging parents to reminisce and paying attention to their stories works for them socialization and relations-encouraging elder parents to engage in socialization activities and places like churches, community centers and volunteering in societal-based organizations where they will get to interact with other people and also have fun something which is instrumental to humans well beings.
Sati, P. N. (1988). Retired and aging people: A study of their problems. Delhi, India: Mittal Publications.
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