Every human being must undergo the process of aging where various changes or transformations occur. Changes are experienced concerning one’s physical fitness, mental health, financial state, social relation and his or her role and status in the society. As far as roles and status are concerned, an individual tends to be regarded more highly as he or she progresses in years (Johnson & Mutchler, 2014). The number of roles that a person plays in the society also tend to increase, due to increased skillfulness and expertise. However, the decline in one’s physical and mental ability as he or she ages limits some roles to the younger and stronger members of the society. Several researchers have weighed in on the aspect of aging and societal roles with one of the remarkable contributors being Donald Super (Johnson & Mutchler, 2014). According to Super, human beings transit through five main life stages, which are childhood or growth, adolescence or exploration, young adulthood or establishment, middle adulthood or maintenance, and then old age or retirement.
Super’s theory on age states that the growth period spans from one’s birth up to when he or she reaches the age of 14. It is characterized by close care and supervision by one’s parents or guardians. After childhood, a person transits into the exploration stage, which spans from 15-24 years of age (Wantz & Gay, 2013). At this stage, an individual experiences relative freedom from the guardians or parents enabling exploration and socialization. The exploration phase provides a basis for the next step, which is referred to as establishment. Spanning from 25-44 years, establishment involves marriage and starting a family. As far as work is concerned, the establishment phase involves the development of one’s entry-level job skills (Poljsak, 2012). After establishment, the next phase of life concerns maintenance and starts when someone is 45 years of age, ending at 64 years. At this point, an individual cements his or her work and societal position. According to Super, the last stage is known as decline and is concerned with a deterioration in one’s output and ability as he or she awaits retirement (Johnson & Mutchler, 2014). Normally, it occurs in persons who are 65 years of age and over.
According to Super’s description, am at the establishment point of life. At 25 years of age, am employed at the Lutheran Rehabilitation and Skilled Center. In addition, I also serve patients as a case manager in a home care facility. The two aforementioned health facilities assist me to practice and enhance my entry-level skills and abilities in nursing. I have obtained most of my nursing skills and knowledge from my academic pursuits as I study a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, in which am nearing completion. As I pursue career and academic development, I intend to retire at the age of 65, giving me more room to relax and enjoy my accomplishments. Upon my retirement, I intend to have saved approximately $300,000. Part of this money will be obtained from social security as I have started my monthly remittances already.
Currently, my leisure activities involve jogging, playing football, and listening to music. I consider the aforementioned activities as leisure rather than work because they do not involve a tight schedule or program. Moreover, involvement in the aforementioned activities is voluntary contrary to the obligatory nature of my work. As I age or progress in years, I expect changes concerning my leisure activities and acts. For instance, I anticipate to transit to less physical leisure activities as years pass by. I plan to reduce the time that I spend playing football, as I may not be able to handle this tiresome activity in the future. Reduced physical fitness, a condition that is common in old age will reduce my ability to perform well in the field. Even as I cut down on my time in the football field, I intend to continue with my morning jogs as they will assist me to keep fit in the future.
As I advance in years, I intend to live in a more serene and peaceful environment. Currently, I live in a city setting which is noisy and congested. As I near the retirement phase, I plan to move to the countryside, where I will be able to live in a quiet and calm surrounding. This will be ideal during my retirement days, as I will not need to visit the city centers on a regular basis. The rural setting also provides space for one to conduct activities such as farming, thus assisting my quest to become an ardent farmer in the future. The clean and non-polluted air which is synonymous with the countryside will also help me during old age. This particular part of life is characterized by declining health and clean air would assist to lengthen my life by making certain that I am in a good health condition.
As I age, I also intend to live closer to my family members. This is necessary, as the family members will be able to offer support as my state of health declines. They will ensure that I am not lonely at this point in life, enhancing and prolonging my life. Family members will also ensure the proper administration of medication and drugs that I may require. Through proper nursing and care, I will be able to feel loved and cared for, an important part of recuperation. I will also require to be in an age integrated community where I will be involved in various community activities. Involvement in certain societal acts will assist me to convey and apply the knowledge that I have concerning various issues of life.
In summary, aging leads to various transformations in one’s roles and status. According to Donald Super’s theory, a person starts at a point of minimal responsibilities, transits to a period of uncertainties, begins to establish oneself, maintains the progress, and then starts declining upon his or her retirement. A close scrutiny of his theory on aging and role allocation shows that a person transits from a point of minimal responsibilities, to one where he or she has multiple roles and highly regarded status. The final phase however is characterized by a return to the initial state where just like a kid; a person requires to be taken care of while having minimal responsibilities.
Johnson, K. J., & Mutchler, J. E. (2014). The Emergence of a Positive Gerontology: From Disengagement to Social Involvement. Gerontologist, 54(1), 93-100
Poljsak, B. (2012). Decreasing Oxidative Stress and Retarding the Aging Process (New ed.). New York: Nova Biomedical Books.
Wantz, M., & Gay, J. E. (2013). The Aging Process: A Health Perspective (3rd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Winthrop Publishers.
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