Late Life Families-Death and Loss Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Late Life Families-Death and Loss Deck (16):

Aging and SES

-More health issues variable by race/SES. Aging is harder if you are poor/black



-Age means less as a marker as you get older.
-Extended middle age- healthier older.
-Varied pathways through later life. (Multiple marriages, co-habitation, single living etc).



-Limits accurate views of older adults.
-Aging individuals have a long history of of strengths, competencies, and coping strategies, but are rarely acknowledged for this....therapy needs to be strengths based.
-current culture worships the young.
-elderly stereotyped as old-fashioned and boring.
-Adult children may be patronizing and controlling.
-Important for mental health professional to check their own bias about elderly people.


Depression and Dementia

Are NOT normal parts of aging.


Larger Vision of Older Life

change, growth, and new learning occurs.
-older brain is more complex
-traditional norms, rules and rituals are less encompassing and restrictive.
-search for greater meaning in life.


Tasks (of Later Life)

-Grieving losses and facing mortality
-managing physical heal
-financial security and "estate" planning
-reinventing oneself and one's future
-awareness of past deficiencies, hurts and disappointments are put into perspective = wisdom.
-adapting to new structures and roles.
-defining a new sense of purpose and meaning
-using leisure time for new learning and experimentation or enjoying already established hobbies/pursuits.


Good Aging

-Established neurological patterns can make new tasks difficult-negative plasticity
-Those who are most happy report being freer to be themselves.
-humor, compassion, curiosity, commitment contribute to sense of integrity.
-Older adults with a greater purpose in life have reduced risk of Alzheimer's and mild cognitive impairment.
-Research finds link between social support and longevity.


Aging and Loss

-social roles and respect
-relatives and friends, beloved pets
-physical health
-family bonds are central.


Family Bonds

-Intergenerational bonds are mutually beneficial. -Old wounds may need to be addressed. Families provide most social interaction and support for elderly family members.
-Importance of sibling relationships over lifetime
-Companion animals.



-generativity of grandchildren eases acceptance of mortality.
-Interaction with children adds to appreciation of life and new perspectives
-Special bond not complicated by responsibility, obligations and conflicts of parent-child relationship.
-When Grandparents are the primary caretakers of their grandchildren, this may complicate their role transition and take a toll on their own health and well-being. (Positive or Negative).
-Offers opportunities for reconnection with children and healing of old intergenerational wounds.


Role Transitions

Retirement: loss or freedom or both.
-Are expectations about grandparenting shared?
-Increasing Dependence.
-Loss of driver's license can be devastating for an older client.
-"Boomerang" adult children moving back home (often with children) as parents look forward to retirement due to financial stress.
-With increasingly complicated families the question of who assumes responsibility for care?



-Men tend to be less prepared for widowhood but women tend to have less financial resources and remarriage prospects.



-Loss of identity/status/income
-Time for relationships and interests (old and new)
-Work no longer serves as a diversion so whatever personal or interpersonal issues are unresolved may loom.
-Role shifts in the couple relationship.



Increasingly, adult children past retirement age, with limited resources are caring for their elders.
-Lack of useful management guidelines by medical specialists can contribute to confusion and frustration (lower SES caretakers may feel less entitled to demand clear guidelines.
-Important to understand caregivers responses.


Stress Process Model

Stress comes from both the objective and subjective components of the process of providing care.


Dementia and Caregiving

-spouses with more realistic expectations have fewer negative consequences.
-Loss of identity.