A Journey Called Aging: Challenges and Opportunities in Older Adulthood

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-03-04
  • Publisher: Routledge

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A Journey Called Agingpresents an insightful exploration of the years between the entry into older adulthood and death. This text examines the significant changes and major landmarks of older persons between 60 and 90. Grounded by a developmental framework based on empirical research, this book presents a new way of looking at older adulthood, describing the older adult years in intensely human terms through both anecdotes and research-based findings to engage the reader as both guide and traveler. Using a series of sequential stages as a framework, A Journey Called Aging discusses the experiences of older adults addressing the challenges and opportunities presented at each stage. This clear analysis can be used as a guide to help persons plan their own odyssey through the older years. Topics in A Journey Called Aginginclude: research and results of the study entering older adulthood the long stable stage of Extended Middle Age Early Transition Older Adult Lifestyle Later Transition the stable stage near the end of life the final transition A Journey Called Agingis crucial reading for professionals who work with older adults, including pastors, attorneys, facilities managers, and program directors; gerontology educators and students; and older adults themselves, their families, and those who care for and about them.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Audiencep. 2
Individual Experience of Agep. 3
Overviewp. 12
Mapping the Journeyp. 13
Landmarks on the Road Aheadp. 14
The Researchp. 18
The Tasks on the Road Aheadp. 23
Conclusionp. 37
Entering Older Adulthoodp. 39
Retirementp. 39
Time of Retirementp. 41
Postretirement Employmentp. 42
Retirement Variationsp. 46
Other Gatewaysp. 48
What About Homemakers?p. 50
The Corep. 52
Moving Out, Letting Gop. 54
The Challenge of Looking Aheadp. 57
Extended Middle Agep. 59
Length of Daysp. 59
Giving Time New Meaningp. 65
A Season in Search of a Purposep. 69
A Substitute for Workp. 72
Relationships and Solitudep. 77
Aloneness and Independencep. 79
Balancing Gains and Lossesp. 80
The Role of the Helping Professionsp. 81
The Early Transitionp. 83
Voluntary and Involuntary Approachesp. 85
Betwixt and Betweenp. 88
Naming the Realitiesp. 91
Consequence of an Illnessp. 94
Death and Loss in Later Lifep. 98
Loss and Recoveryp. 102
Meaning and Relationshipsp. 105
Differences and Similaritiesp. 108
Preparing for the Early Transitionp. 112
An Older Adult Lifestylep. 115
Who Survived?p. 115
Reinventing the Selfp. 120
The Others in Lifep. 130
Freedomp. 137
Purposes and Prioritiesp. 140
Old Age Is Not for Sissiesp. 142
The Later Transitionp. 143
The Role of Professionals and Support Personsp. 145
Beginning the Journeyp. 148
Timing the Transitionp. 151
The Journey to Carep. 154
While the Light Lastsp. 165
The Environment of Carep. 167
The Challenge for the Professionalp. 174
Being Okay Amid Dependency and Frailtyp. 177
The Blessing of Carep. 181
Engaging and Disengagingp. 182
Is Autonomy a Contradiction?p. 185
What's the Point?p. 186
Journeying Onp. 190
Dying Wellp. 191
The Beginningp. 192
The Medicalization of Dyingp. 194
The Professional and the Process of Dyingp. 197
Landmarks and Developmental Tasks of Dyingp. 199
Dying and Relationshipsp. 201
Dying and Meaningp. 203
Preparationp. 205
The Need to Improve Care at the End of Lifep. 208
Epilogue: Prevailing: A Challenge and a Visionp. 211
Referencesp. 215
Indexp. 229
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