Factors Influencing Development in Older Adults

The transition from middle to late adulthood is characterized by a growing number of life changes. Many parents become “empty nesters” as their children, now adults themselves, move out and start their own lives. Retirement might be greeted begrudgingly or with open arms. Inevitable declines in health, physical ability, and cognitive function become more apparent. Much like earlier life events, one’s reaction to these changes will depend on a multitude of factors; however, what is unique to this age range is that many of these changes will be steeped in loss. This can include the loss of a spouse, a long-time friend, a passionate career, a pleasurable lifestyle, a trade, or a hobby.

As a counselor, how might you engage older adults to thrive during this phase of their lives?

For this Discussion, review the media, “Late Adulthood.” Focus your final efforts on the older adult in your assigned family. Before crafting your post, also consider the points raised in the media, “Perspectives: The Golden Years.”

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Note: Identify the last name of your assigned client family in the title of your post.

Post by Day 3 a description of two developmental factors that impact late adulthood. Explain how these factors might impact emotional and psychological well-being. Then, describe a protective factor that could optimize the older adult’s health and resilience. Justify your response with references to this week’s Learning Resources and the current literature. Be specific.

· Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

o Chapter 15, “Gains and Losses in Late Adulthood” (pp. 556-596)

· Bielak, A. A. M., Anstey, K. J., Christensen, H., & Windsor, T. D. (2012). Activity engagement is related to level, but not change in cognitive ability across adulthood. Psychology and Aging, 27(1), 219–228.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Bowling, A, (2007). Aspirations for older age in the 21st century: What is successful aging? The International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 64(3), 263–297.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Davis, C. S. (2008). A funeral liturgy: Death rituals as symbolic communication. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 13(5), 406–421.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Hemmingson, M. (2009). Anthropology of the memorial: Observations and reflections on American cultural rituals associated with death. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(3), 1–13.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Lowis, M. J., Edwards, A. C., & Burton, M. (2009). Coping with retirement: Wellbeing, health, and religion. Journal of Psychology, 143(4), 427–448.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Ong, A. D., Bergeman, C. S., & Boker, S. M. (2009). Resilience comes of age: Defining features in later adulthood. Journal of Personality, 77(6), 1777–1804.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Schoulte, J. C. (2011). Bereavement among African Americans and Latino/a Americans. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 33(1), 11–20.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Wang, M., Henkens, K., & van Solinge, H. (2011). Retirement adjustment: A review of theoretical and empirical advancements. The American Psychologist, 66(3), 204–213.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Kaplan, D. (2008). End of life care for terminally ill clients. Retrieved from http://ct.counseling.org/2008/06/ct-online-ethics-update-3/

· Kennedy, A. (2008). Working through grief. Retrieved from http://ct.counseling.org/2008/01/working-through-grief/

· National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine. (2013). End of life issues. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/endoflifeissues.html

· Rudow, H. (2012). The bereaved at greater risk of heart attack after loss. Retrieved from http://ct.counseling.org/2012/01/the-bereaved-at-greater-risk-of-heart-attack-after-loss/

· Laureate Education (Producer). (2013d). Late adulthood [Video file]. Retrieved from CDN Files Database. (COUN 6215/COUN 8215/HUMN 8215)
This week, you will revisit your assigned client family for the final time in this course. Before watching this media, take time to reflect on all that you have learned about this family. Then, examine the new information given on this week’s featured family member, aged 65 or older.
Note: Please click on the following link for the transcript: Transcript (PDF).

· Laureate Education (Producer). (2013j). Perspectives: The golden years [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 3 minutes.
This week’s presenter discusses the physical and cognitive changes experienced by older adults. The presenter offers counseling approaches and considerations for this age range.

Accessible player –Downloads– Download Video w/CC Download Audio Download Transcript

The following document gives credit for Laureate-produced media in this course: Credits (PDF)


Discussion Questions (DQ)

Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.

Weekly Participation

Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.

APA Format and Writing Quality

Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.

Use of Direct Quotes

I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.

LopesWrite Policy

For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.

Late Policy

The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.


Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.