Development Across the Lifespan
Growing old is another phase of our lives that is often perceived negatively and with apprehension . American society values youth and vitality and strength which to the elderly have become diminished and with it the sense of self-esteem and importance (Berger , 2001 . Everyone dreads becoming old , especially if it is equated with sickness , memory loss and helplessness . To ease the anxiety of becoming one of the elderly , it is important that one is aware of the possible changes that would happen as you age . Knowledge of the changes that you will experience
as the natural course of ageing will help you better deal with it and probably actively take an active role in growing old gracefully . At present much has been discovered about the developmental challenges of the elderly but this was not the case in the early years of developmental psychology
Developmentally speaking , old age was not given the attention it deserved in the past . Psychologists were more concerned with the development of human beings from birth to adulthood (Shaffer , 1999 . It was assumed by many that old age is a period wherein the physical strength and will decrease , mental functioning will become slower and ultimately will affect one 's psychological well-being . However , it was also evident that the ability at which an individual can age gracefully depends on the quality of his /her younger life . But for those who are past their prime and whose youth have been less than ideal , it is not too late to change how we perceive becoming old
As we age , it is normal for our body to change and lose its strength and vitality and healthy bodily functioning (Petersen , 1996 . This is brought about by the daily wear and tear that our bodies have been subjected to and just like any other antique piece of furniture it becomes frail and needs extra care and attention . For females , menopause can signal old age and for some it is the most difficult stage in ones life . Males usually have to contend with lost vigor and physical strength . Coupled with this is the onset of several illnesses and physical discomforts like arthritis , high blood pressure , elevated cholesterol levels , diabetes and the more common failing eyesight hearing loss and diminished taste buds . Likewise , endurance and physical strength continue to decrease and chores like mowing the lawn gardening , cleaning the house , going to the grocery and other strenuous activities have to be sacrificed simply because your body cannot take it anymore . This does not mean that you should altogether stop doing any physical activity , exercise is still important as it keeps your body functioning well , the key is moderation . The elderly also tend to have sensitive digestive systems and some diseases require special diets thus the elderly need to monitor their food intake and dealing with food restrictions can be frustrating for some . Others experience bowel difficulties , problems with digestion and metabolism diss . As you age , the worst physical change you could face is the lost of...