Anti aging guide

Personality and Older People



Why the older people are less inclined to take risks and a degree of rigidity?

Once again, many widely held beliefs are founded on extremely shaky evidence. Once again, the questionnaires in use are often more appropriate for young students than for those of mature years. It is, therefore, with some reservations that one accepts the theory that advancing years are characterized by increasing introversion and that this leads to a form of adjustment to frailty and approaching death by disengagement from others and from many of the world’s activities. Perhaps it should be looked upon more accurately as a means of adaptation to the rejection and exclusion which society offers to its older members, and to the role which seems to be required of a ‘good’ old person—undemanding and no trouble to anybody.

On the whole, the capacity for adaptation among the elderly is underestimated. What is true is that they are less inclined to take risks, and a degree of rigidity is to be found. And another generalization which seems to be reasonably true is that the young regard the present as better than the past, and the future as probably better than the present, whereas in our 60s they are all equally well regarded, but when we reach our 70s the past seems to be the best, then the present, with the future probably worse than either.

Older professionals, it has been found, are better than their junior colleagues at conserving time and energy and at distinguishing between critical and peripheral tasks. Their needs regarding achievement may have been satisfied, but the need for recognition and a sense of personal worth persists. Men, it is claimed, become more passive, women more assertive in their pursuits.

Requirements for psychological health

These have been summarized as follows:

  1. an adequate standard of living
  2. financial and emotional security
  3. health
  4. regular and frequent social interaction
  5. the pursuit of personal interests

These requirements are no different from those of younger age groups, and they may not seem very ambitious, but unfortunately they are not all readily attainable for large numbers of the very old, frail, and bereaved.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - April 29, 2012 at 8:49 am