Late adulthood – a period of loss or a time for new challenges?

Journal Title: Medycyna Ogólna i Nauki o Zdrowiu - Year 2013, Vol 19, Issue 3


Objectives: In Western societies there dominates a negative image of old age. However, modern researchers suggest that old age does not have to be just a period of losses. Old age can be positive, even in the face of chronic disease. The aim of this study was to outline the basic losses experienced by an individual in late adulthood and old age, as well as the presentation of old age as the time of new challenges and tasks to carry out, especially in the context of the assumptions of positive psychology. Results: According to the WHO definition, the period of late adulthood begins at the age of 60. The most serious problems of the elderly are problems with health, retirement, smaller income, loss of social status, loneliness, death of loved ones, a sense of anxiety, uncertainty, and threat. There is need for developing adaptation mechanisms other those extant to-date. These mechanisms need not be only negative. The concept of positive aging is based on the activities that an individual can undertake to improve wellbeing. Development of new, positive adaptation mechanisms is particularly important for elderly people suffering from chronic diseases, such as in patients with COPD. The positive adaptive mechanisms may include, among others, implementation of integrated models of care, creating new opportunities for learning, volunteering. Conclusions: The period of late adulthood is a time of both loss and new opportunities. A man with knowledge and skills can maintain the health and quality of life in old age.Key words: senility, positive aging, COPD, volunteering

Authors and Affiliations

Paweł Zielazny, Przemysław Biedrowski, Dominika Mucha


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How To Cite

Paweł Zielazny, Przemysław Biedrowski, Dominika Mucha (2013). Late adulthood – a period of loss or a time for new challenges?. Medycyna Ogólna i Nauki o Zdrowiu, 19(3), 284-287.