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9: Late Adulthood

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    • 9.1: Late Adulthood Definition and Demographics
      Definition of the late adulthood age group, which spans from the mid-sixties to death. Current and projected demographics of this group, in the U.S. and worldwide.
    • 9.2: Life Expectancy
      Defining life expectancy as compared to lifespan. Overview of life expectancy in the U.S. and worldwide, how it has been impacted by COVID-19, and ethnic and gender differences in life expectancy.
    • 9.3: Age Categories in Late Adulthood
      Categorizing the ages of individuals in late adulthood, as young-old (65–74), old-old (75–84), oldest-old (85–99), and centenarians (100+). These categories are based on the conceptions of aging, which include biological, psychological, social, and chronological differences.
    • 9.4: Theories of Aging
      Discussion of various theories for why aging occurs, including genetics, DNA or mitochondrial damage, free radicals, and theories of evolution, the cellular clock, and immune and hormonal stress.
    • 9.5: Physical and Sensory Changes of Aging
      Discussion of the physical (body shape, skin, hair, and nails) and sensory (vision, hearing, taste, smell, touch, and pain) changes of aging.
    • 9.6: Nutrition
      Importance of a healthy diet for older adults, recommendations for diet structure, and challenges for older adults trying to follow these recommendations.
    • 9.7: Chronic Conditions
      How older adults are affected by common chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, musculoskeletal diseases, pulmonary disease, shingles, and COVID-19. How older adults tend to view their own state of health, compared to younger age groups.
    • 9.8: Brain Functioning and Sleep
      Discussion of brain functioning in late adulthood, including Parkinson's disease. Sleep patterns and disorders common in late adulthood, medical conditions that may affect sleep, and research into ways to improve sleep quality.
    • 9.9: Sexuality
      Trends in older adults' satisfaction with their sex lives, and the causes of problems that these adults may experience with their sexuality.
    • 9.10: Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood
      Overview of how aging affects information processing in late adulthood, including changes in working and long-term memory, attention, problem-solving, and wisdom and intelligence.
    • 9.11: Neurocognitive Disorders
      Definition of neurocognitive disorders. Overview of the prevalence and symptoms of the most common neurocognitive disorders in older adults: Alzheimer's disease, vascular neurocognitive disorder, and neurocognitive disorder with Lewy bodies.
    • 9.12: Work, Retirement, and Leisure
      Trends in late adults participating in the workforce, retiring, returning to education, and using their leisure time.
    • 9.15: Stereotypes Regarding Late Adulthood
      Stereotypes of people in late adulthood (i.e., aging automatically brings poor physical health and mental decline) and how they affect the health and daily lives of older adults. Compounding factors for these stereotypes, including minority status and poverty.
    • 9.16: Living Arrangements
      Prevalence and trends of different living arrangements for people in late adulthood, including living alone, with spouses/partners, with family members, or in institutions.
    • 9.17: Erikson (Integrity vs. Despair) and Generativity in Late Adulthood
      Psychosocial development of people in late adulthood in terms of Erikson's final psychosocial stage, integrity vs. despair, and in terms of generativity and aiding younger generations.
    • 9.18: Social Networks in Late Adulthood
      Theories for why people in late adulthood undergo changes in their social networks as they age. Discussion of common changes in these networks, in terms of relationships with adult children, friendships, loneliness and solitude.
    • 9.19: Late Adult Lifestyles
      Trends in different lifestyles of late adulthood, including marriage, widowhood, divorce, and cohabitation. Discussion of the additional issues faced by gay and lesbian elders, especially in terms of elder care.
    • 9.20: Elder Abuse
      Prevalence, subcategories, and consequences of elder abuse. Common sources of elder abuse and difficulties in combatting such abuse.
    • 9.21: Substance Abuse and the Elderly
      Discussion of prevalence and trends in alcohol and drug problems among older adults. Special concerns for substance abuse among this age group, including difficulties in diagnosis, effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and projected future increases.
    • 9.22: Successful Aging
      Rowe and Kahn's criteria of successful aging. How elders may compensate for the challenges of aging.
    • 9.R: Late Adulthood (References)

    Thumbnail: Elderly gentleman during the golden hour in Florence, Piazzale Michelangelo, Italy. (Unsplash License; Matteo Vistocco via Unsplash)

    This page titled 9: Late Adulthood is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Martha Lally and Suzanne Valentine-French via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.