Have you considered which stage of human development you are in and how it is impacting your life experience? Of the eight developmental stages; Infancy, Toddlerhood, Preschool, Early School Years, Adolescence, Young Adulthood, Middle Adulthood and Late Adulthood, which one are you currently navigating? Each stage presents new challenges and unique opportunities for growth. We may feel knowledgeable and experienced in one stage and then enter a new stage and quickly feel ill equipped and lose confidence. Recognizing the common challenges and highlights that we share with others in the different stages of development can help normalize our circumstances and give us hope.
By late adulthood, we have gained a lifetime of experience and may feel like we have life figured out. In many ways we do, but in this stage our physical health can impact our quality of life. If we are experiencing nagging pain, it can cause us to be irritable and cranky which can put stress on our relationships. Having better self-awareness and communicating our pain more effectively with others allows us to be more agreeable.
Sometimes keeping up with all our doctor appointments can be exhausting and feel like a full-time job! When our energy is low, we slow down physically and opt out of social activities with friends and family which can lead to us feeling isolated. Isolation is known to increase the probability of developing depression and anxiety and can also increases the risk of physical and cognitive decline. Making physical activity a priority, staying involved in our interests and socializing, even when it is a challenge, is the best medicine. If you are experiencing a sense of isolation, anxiety or depression, consider seeking help and talking with a caring professional who can help you explore and navigate your current circumstances and perspective.
Another challenge in late adult life is keeping up with the current culture and navigating technology. There is a large generation gap between Baby Boomers and Gen Z that effects how they relate with one another. If you are finding yourself out of touch with the culture and have difficulty communicating with the younger generations in your family, you may be feeling disconnected. You may feel disheartened with the current culture and feel tempted to voice your opinion or disapproval. In these moments, consider not talking about their culture but rather share stories from your generation. Life before modern safety precautions, the internet and cell phones is fascinating to younger generations.
Today’s technologies can be intimidating and if you have been unable to master them, you may be feeling disconnected from family members who communicate through social media, texts, and Facetime. Seeing our family members buried in their phones can also be frustrating when we want to interact with them.
Exploring and gaining a new perspective on the current culture and coming to terms with our circumstances are all possibilities when we make a decision to change.
If you are a senior adult or know a senior adult who may be suffering silently, know that there is help for you or them. It is never too late to face challenges, make changes and grow…you are not alone! If you are interested in meeting with a mental health counselor, please feel free to reach out to email@example.com for a free 15-minute consultation.
Licensed Resident in Counseling