My clients are Miguel and Jeanette Martinez. The challenges of raising three children and surviving a devastating tornado are behind them (Laureate Education, 2013a). Now in their early 70’s, Miguel and Jeanette have conflicting ideas on how to spend their remaining years. Jeanette feels she has worked hard in her life and looks forward to relaxing and watching her grandchildren grow (Laureate Education, 2013a). Miguel, on the other hand, is not quite ready to “settle down” (Laureate Education, 2013a). Miguel looks forward to traveling and new adventures (Laureate Education, 2013a).
Developmental factors of late adulthood
Developmental factors of late adulthood are categorically similar to other lifespan stages. Individuals can expect physical, cognitive, and socioemotional changes as they age (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Erikson hypothesized the intimacy and generativity are primary themes in later life (Torges, Stewart, Miner-Rubino, 2005). One challenge for this population is coming to terms with life regrets (Torges, Stewart, Miner-Rubino, 2005). Counselors can use a life review to identify regrets of either missed opportunity or disappointment in life choices (Torges, Stewart, Miner-Rubino, 2005). According to Torges, Stewart, Miner-Rubino (2005), an individual’s well-being is associated with their interpretation of regrets.
Protective factors for late adulthood challenges
A common goal for aging adults is to feel satisfied with a life well-lived and have the opportunity to savor the “golden years”. Counselors working with older clients may help increase health and resilience by using self-reflection interventions. One self-reflection technique is conduction a life review (Laureate Education, 2013b). According to Dr. Donna Sheperis (Laureate Education, 2013b), a life review can guide clients through collecting artifacts and memories that are meaningful to the client. The life review process could benefit both Miguel and Jeanette. For Jeanette, the process may increase the pride she has as a mother and provide a tangible memoir she can pass on to her children and grandchildren. For Miguel, the life review can serve as a reminder of obstacles he has overcome in his life. Miguel might gain a new perspective in which he can feel free to explore his curiosity and respect Jeanette’s contentment with her desires.
Miguel and Jeanette Martinez have overcome many obstacles in their life. They both hope to enjoy this period in life. A life review may provide valuable insight into regrets. At this point, Miguel would benefit from a new interpretation of past events. People who come to terms with regret report high life -satisfaction and positive mood than people who do not come to terms with regret (Torges, Stewart, Miner-Rubino, 2005).
Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education
Laureate Education (Producer). (2013a). Late adulthood [Video file]. Retrieved from CDN Files Database. (COUN 6215/COUN 8215/HUMN 8215)
Laureate Education (Producer). (2013b). Perspectives: The golden years [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Torges, C.M., Stewart, A.J., & Miner-Rubino, K. (2005). Personality after the prime of life: men and women coming to terms with regrets. Journal of Research in Personality, 39(1), 148-165. Doi: 10.1016/i.irp.2004.09.005