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Chemistry LibreTexts

Late Adulthood

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    Late Adulthood


    • The body is just not as young as it once was. The trips to the doctor may increase and organs can become old and begin to shut down in the later part of a person’s life.

    Mental Ability:

    • Changes occur in the brain in our later years, as there are fewer neurons and slower reactions.
    • Dementia is a mental disorder that is marked by the brain’s inability to make the connections between the neurons and forgetfulness is the result.
    • The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown and the result is the person cannot remember many events. This can cause a great deal of frustration for the person with the disease and for their family. Often, the Alzheimer patient is sent to live in a nursing home for safety reasons or is kept home with around-the-clock supervision.
    • Many older people suffer from depression, as the thought of getting old and facing death is not one of happiness.
    • Some elderly men and women go into isolation as they do not want to burden people nor do they want to face the fact of aging.


    • Many people who are still married by this age have been married for a long time.
    • Some who become widowed remarry while other widows cling to friends and family.


    • Some view retirement as a source of happiness and others view this as a sad event. Some feel that the world has told them "you are old and you cannot work anymore."While others welcome the leisure time to be involved in extracurricular activities in which they are interested.

    Late adulthood is the time period from the age of 66 and beyond. Ages 66 and beyond, according to Erikson, is the stage of integrity versus despair.This stage is marked by the person reflecting on his or her life; the older adult may feel a sense of satisfaction or failure. Just as friends were important to the adolescent, friends are important to the older adult especially those who have not found a suitable mate or someone with whom to spend their life and to those who have been widowed. Many people have had the same friends for most of their lives and cherish these people as part of their family.