Essay Example on Death of a loved one can have negative implications for the aging Process









Alternatively studies suggest that loss e.g death of a loved one can have negative implications for the aging process Rowe Kahn 1987 There also appears to be a use it or lose it phenomenon associated with cognitive function in aging individuals According to Hoare 2011 there is a significant increase in the probability of developing dementia for aging individuals that engage in marked decreases in cognitive activities Despite no use of the word resilience the above studies have captured many of the ingredients often associated with the term From this research it appears that resilience is a trait that is manifested through the sum of numerous factors As a result the degree of resilience is dependent upon the total of the factors involved Rowe Kahn 1987 Finally it is important to note that research finding suggest that genetic factors play a role in resilience According to Charney 2004 behavioral responses including those often associated with resilience can be traced to genetic origins The author further submits that specific regions of the brain neurochemicals and neural mechanisms may play a role in resilience Charney 2004 Aging and Resiliency Unfortunately research on resilience for elder individuals is not only limited but also difficult to generalize to the greater population of aging people 

According to Thorpe and Blazer 2015 the majority of research on resilience in aging individuals is restricted to individuals that may be considered to already possess resilient qualities However there are a number of studies that offer illumination on the subject In 2010 Sheng and Sheng found that an increase in self acceptance combined with social support and low levels of anxiety reduced mortality rates in elders An additional study found that high levels of mental health are often the product Nygren et al 2005 Of particular interest is a study by Windle Woods and Markland 2010 in which resilience was identified as a protective factor in coping with illness in the elderly population Furthermore studies of the elderly population have identified several factors which may lead to an increase in the phenomenon of resilience These factors include An optimistic outlook Robust social networks A high degree of emotional well being Maintenance of cognitive function Contrary to popular belief elderly individuals e g individuals over the age of 64 years showed greater levels of resilience when compared with their younger counterparts e g individuals under the age of 26 years Gooding Hurst Johnson Tarrier 2012 In addition elderly individuals demonstrated increased belief in their ability to problem solve and regulate emotions Gooding et al 2012 The literature provides numerous factors correlated with resiliency 

This is partly because of the ambiguous definition of the term For the purposes of this paper resilience is defined as an individual attribute that can be both a process and an end result which leads to and terminates in the ability to flexibly adapt to challenges Aldwin Igarashi 2015 It is also important to note that resilience is dependent on both internal e g cognitive function and external factors e g social support Aldwin Igarashi 2015 What seems clear is that elder individuals possessing resiliency are more apt to succeed when faced with life challenges and experience a more positive aging process Aldwin Igarashi 2015 Interventions There is debate regarding the ability of elderly individuals to modify their own resilience What is clear however is that there are a number of interventions that can be utilized that have been proven to increase resilience as individuals age Wagnild Collins 2009 The three items categories listed below are prevalent in the literature on resilience for aging individuals mastery development meditation cognitive reframe While these three approaches have been proven to be effective it is important to refrain from assuming that implementation of any individual intervention or combination of interventions will necessarily produce a positive outcome When intervening it is important to first identify the attributes that are most in need of improvement In order to accomplish this one must actively listen to the needs of the individual Often elderly individuals will have unique personal experiences of resilience in their own lives from which to draw upon

These experiences can help inform which techniques will be most productive in producing a positive outcome Once this knowledge is obtained a plan can be developed with the client which implements and extends previous experiences of resilience Wagnild Collins 2009 Mastery Development Programs that address development of mastery for elders have been shown to promote feelings of competence Masten 2011 Researchers assert that this may be the result of development of skills that enhance self agency such as positive coping skills understanding of cause and effect and their role in it and effective responses to challenges Masten 2011 identifies five outcomes of mastery development Enhanced coping capacity Relationship improvement Increased knowledge of self Reorganization of priorities Spiritual attendance Masten 2011 This is important in understanding resilience in the aging community as a good sense of self esteem according to researchers is positively correlated with resilience in elders Bookwala 2014 Meditation According to research mindfulness meditation is one avenue in which an individual can improve coping skills enhance an overall sense of well being and expand positive emotions Davidson McEwen 2012 In order to achieve this mindfulness meditation encourages an aging individual to practices skill that assist in focusing attention on the current moment development of acceptance and tolerance regulation of emotions Baer 2003 This can lead to a decrease in stress as the individual learns to reconcile unalterable demands of aging with feelings of well being Davidson McEwen 2012

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