Late Adulthood and Death

Posted on: 14th May 2023


Write a 1,200- to 1,400-word paper in which you analyze late adulthood and the death of an individual as a culmination of the life span developmental process. Be sure to address the following items in your paper.

• Examine ageism and stereotypes associated with late adulthood.

• Evaluate how individuals can promote health and wellness into late adulthood and mitigate the negative effects of aging.

• Analyze the importance of relationships and social interactions as an individual nears end of life.

• Identify cultural and personal attitudes about death and dignity in late adulthood.

Include a minimum of three peer-reviewed sources.

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Late Adulthood and Death

Lifespan Development refers to the whole process of the development of human beings from birth to the period of their death. It is considered a type of a holistic process that generally assists in understanding the different approaches to the physiological changes, the changes in the emotions, the cognitive type of change, and the social change that human beings normally go through (Sopcheck, 2019). There are five stages of lifespan development which are inclusive; the newborn stage, the stage of being an infant, the toddler stage, the preschool as well, and the school-age stages. There are also different phases of lifespan development, including infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood (Sopcheck, 2019). The mentalists who deal with the development process would often break these stages into; prenatal development, infancy development, and toddlerhood development.

Late adulthood is a period that includes the age bracket between sixty-five years and above. The Late adulthood period culminates further into the death of an individual. In the United States of America, late adulthood is a period that is considered the fastest growing in accordance to various statistics(Sopcheck, 2019). The period of Late adulthood is divided into three stages; the Young- Old (65-84), the Oldest- Old (85-99), and the Centenarians for factors of comparison. The Development of the Lifespan majorly focuses on the stages we go through as human beings in development, from being young to the period when we die. The Late Adulthood stage is considered the last age in a person’s development process before dying.

Ageism is mostly considered a way of oppression against the people of different groups. It usually affects the people in the late adulthood stage, but at times scientific research shows that it can also affect the younger people(Stangor & Walinga, 2019). It is normally based on the concept of prejudgment that the older people in our societies are unintelligent and at times they are bound to be less cooperative or that they are not worth being considered to be serious. Therefore, several stereotypes exist about this period, such as the older people in the late adulthood period being forgetful and senile, and prone to be senior moments.

 There are different ways in which the factors of stereotypes harm older adults. In several different cultures, the older adults are stereotyped to be of high warmth and have a low competence across the cultures(Stangor & Walinga, 2019). These stereotypes, which are mixed, bring pity/ form of sympathy and passive harm. Other types of adults are stereotyped to be law in warmth and competence, which shows disgust and harm. Ageism can operate in different ways, both consciously as well as unconsciously. Aside from this, Ageism is divided into three stages; Micro-level (Individual stage), Meso-level (Social Networks), and Macro-level (Institutional and cultural). The Stereotypes of Late Adulthood usually lead a lot of people to believe that the factor of aging brings physical health, which is poor, as well as a decline in mental status.

There are several different strategies that individuals can use in promoting health and wellness into late adulthood and assist in the mitigation of the negative effects that are associated with the factor of aging. The first strategy that can apply is the encouragement of exercise and the physical kind of activities. Exercise is very important to the individuals who belong in the late adulthood period (Sharp et al., 2019). It is highly significant because it reduces the high risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and the two different kinds of diabetes, obesity and colon cancer (Stangor & Walinga, 2019). Furthermore, aside from the above factors, it is crucial as it significantly reduces the risks of experiencing falls and fall-related injuries.

Another valuable factor is assisting them in reducing chronic stress and discouraging them from using drugs such as ‘smoking.’ Drugs usage is considered bad as it destroys an individual’s health. According to several studies, quitting smoking between the ages of 54 and 64 years added the life expectancy. Older adults need to get enough sleep as it boosts their health. Ensuring that the older adults we live with are getting enough sleep will assist a lot in boosting their health and adding more life expectancy.

Studies show that depriving oneself of enough sleep leads to an increase in cardiovascular disease and increases levels of the inflammatory blood markers and immune function, which has been reduced. Depriving oneself of sleep also causes fatigue, making it hard to be active physically (Sharp et al., 2019). Assisting the elderly in keeping fit and maintaining a healthy weight is considered a powerful strategy to prolong their life expectancy. This is because obesity is considered a major risk factor for being disabled in the late-life (Stangor & Walinga, 2019). Research shows that obesity and premature death weakens as people get older. This phenomenon is referred to as the Obesity Paradox concerning aging factors.

 Research also highlights that when obese people lose a slight loss of weight, such as 5-7% of their current weight, it will assist a lot in improving their physical health and symptoms (Stangor & Walinga, 2019). Therefore, both the caregivers of the elderly must keep in mind that unintentional loss of weight should be considered a red flag and should be brought to the attention of the health professionals.

As an Individual approaches the end of life, relationships and social interactions are considered important. The Social relationships and interactions during the end times of lifespan normally provide a platform for support exchange and opportunities for the social interactions and, above all, research that demonstrates their influence independently on the mortality and survival of the heart attack. In late adulthood, social interactions are considered crucial (Sharp et al., 2019). Older adults who gain social support have high chances of carrying out regular exercises, which extend to a host of physical, mental, and cognitive benefits.

 Socialization and interaction, which is consistent, will cause a reduction that seniors will experience the depression that is caused by the factors of Isolation and loneliness. Social Interactions reduce the mortality risk among adults with documented medical conditions (Stangor & Walinga, 2019). Research done by scientists proved that among the older adults with coronary artery disease, those who were isolated socially had a higher risk of cardiac death 2.4times greater than their age group who were connected socially and supported socially. It is believed that social support and strong social relationship usually increase the lifespan by a certain percentage during the end of the lifespan.

About the concept of death, there are different cultural and personal forms of attitudes about the factor of death and dignity in late adulthood. There are different attitudes to death and dying factors, such as; fear of death, avoidance of death, accepting the approach to death, and neutral acceptance (Stangor & Walinga, 2019). The scale usually approaches the attitudes toward death from the factor of positive emotion (acceptance of death) and the negative kind of emotion considered the fear of death and the avoidance of death.

In every type of culture, death is majorly associated with different customs and rituals that assist in helping people with the process of grieving. Similarly, the kind of attitude towards the issue of death will provide ways and strategies for the community to support the bereaved. In modern western societies, death is ignored and usually feared (Sharp et al., 2019). However, changes in the current lifestyle have improved the medical science sector, which has gone to the next level of personalizing death and made it an encroachment on life instead of being part of life.

In summary, many theories and concepts are related to and inclusive of late adulthood and the whole lifespan development process. Therefore, the negative stereotypes about Ageism should be ignored and condemned in the present society. Based on additional research and studies performed, it is evident that social interactions and relationships play a very important role in prolonging the life span of an older adult to a certain percentage.



Sharp, E. S., Beam, C. R., Reynolds, C. A., & Gatz, M. (2019). Openness declines in advance of death in late adulthood. Psychology and Aging, 34(1), 124–138.

Sopcheck, J. (2019). Older Adults’ Perspectives of End of Life After the Death of a Significant Other. Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing, 21(6), 524–530.

Stangor, C., & Walinga, J. (2019). 14.5 Late Adulthood: Aging, Retiring, and Bereavement., 12(13).

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