Late Adulthood: Loss, Grief and Bereavement
The purpose of this essay is to explore what late adulthood entails in terms of loss, grief and bereavement. This will be done by discussing the aging population and late adulthood, before going on to look at the four stage models of grief. cultural influences and social environment will also be addressed, as well as bereavement and anger. Ultimately, it will be concluded that late adulthood can be a difficult time for many people, but that there are ways in which the negative experiences can be mitigated.
2. The aging population
The aging population is one that is growing in size all over the world. This is due to a number of factors, including improved healthcare and living conditions, which mean that people are living longer than they used to. In addition, the baby boomer generation is now reaching retirement age. As a result of all of this, the proportion of older people in the population is increasing and this trend is set to continue (Tobin et al., 2016).
3. Late adulthood
Late adulthood is the period of life after 65 years old (Atkinson et al., 2015). It is a time when many people experience a number of changes, both physical and psychological. For example, physical changes can include a decrease in muscle mass and bone density, as well as a decreased ability to see, hear and smell (Atkinson et al., 2015). Psychological changes can include a decreased ability to remember things, as well as a general decline in cognitive functioning (Atkinson et al., 2015). These changes can sometimes lead to stress and sometimes depression and may, in other cases, lead to the early death of an adult.
4. The four stage models of grief
There are different models that have been proposed to explain how people grieve. One of the most famous is the four stage model put forward by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1969). This model proposes that there are four stages through which people pass when they are grieving: denial, anger, depression and acceptance (Kübler-Ross, 1969). However, it should be noted that not everyone goes through all four stages and that the order in which they are experienced can vary from person to person (Kübler-Ross, 1969).
5. Cultural influences
Cultural influences can play a role in how people grieve and bereave. For example, some cultures believe that it is important to express grief openly, while others believe that it should be kept private (Atkinson et al., 2015). In addition, some cultures have elaborate rituals surrounding death and mourning, while others have none at all (Atkinson et al., 2015). These differences can impact how easy or difficult it is for someone to cope with loss and grief.
6. Social environment
The social environment can also influence how someone copes with loss and grief. For example, if someone has a supportive network of family and friends, they may find it easier to cope than someone who does not (Atkinson et al., 2015). Similarly, if someone lives in a community where there is a lot of social support for those who are grieving, they may find it easier than someone who lives in a place where there is no such support (Atkinson et al., 2015).
Bereavement is the process of grieving for someone who has died (Atkinson et al., 2015). It can be a very difficult and painful experience, but it is also a natural and normal part of life. There are a number of things that can make bereavement more difficult, such as if the death was sudden or if the relationship with the person who died was very close (Atkinson et al., 2015). However, there are also a number of things that can make bereavement easier, such as if the person who died was very old or if they had been ill for a long time (Atkinson et al., 2015).
Anger is a normal and natural emotion that people can feel when they are grieving (Atkinson et al., 2015). It is often directed at the person who has died, as well as at other people, such as family members or friends (Atkinson et al., 2015). Anger can sometimes make it difficult to cope with grief, but it is also an important part of the process.
In conclusion, late adulthood can be a difficult time for many people, but there are ways in which the negative experiences can be mitigated. There is no one way to grieve and bereave, but understanding the process and seeking support from others can make it easier.