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The Model Of Selective Optimisation Essay

1395 words - 6 pages

Nowadays, in times of medical and technical progress, when many diseases can be cured and when people pay more attention to healthy lifestyle, the life span in getting longer. Especially in Western and North Europe, where people have better quality of life, we experience the phenomenon of aging of the population. There is less number of births, because women prefer to improve their education and start career path, so they decide to begin family life later, and also the number of death due to higher life standard is much smaller. In the constant cult of youth, elderly people face the problem of accepting themselves, as weaker and not necessary in the society. 
 
Aging is quite sad and depressing period of life. The process of aging is difficult to accept for older adults. They experience many disappointments in connection with physical and mental health. They are not as bright as they used to be, they keep forgetting many things and physically they may not recognise themselves as attracting and interesting. Due to the phenomenon of aging of population, scientists were forced to change tactic and focus more on older adults as they need more care and attention, and also make older people realize that the last period of life does not have to be associated with loss, illness and unpleasant experiences. In fact, this is true that during the last years of life memory decline occurs and physical abilities are limited, but every development brings both gains and loss. It is essential to focus on positive aspects. Older adults, as they retire, have more time for social life. They can spend more time with family and they are able to become a part of a social group, for what they had not had time before. Elderly people can enjoy their free time and focus on their hobbies. This is how the concept of successful aging was built. This expression can be paradoxical, because how the period of many diseases, loss of abilities and close people, and the feeling of sudden death can be associated with a positive achievement? Paul B. and Margaret M. Baltes constructively claim that, process of aging should not be acknowledged as phase of life of constant disappointments, but it has to be treated as a different, selective kind of success. 
 
The concept of successful aging was mentioned early years before Christ by Roman stoicist philosopher Cicero, who claimed that being old does not have to bring unpleasant experiences, such as physical and mental loss. What is more, in his essay „De Senectute” (44 B.C./1979),  he argued that in late old age a person is finally able to focus on mental development, because is not interested in physical pleasures, anymore. As a precursor of stoicist philosophy, which rejects feeling satisfaction from physical needs and emphasize the importance of living in peace of mind and harmony, he claims that feeling the joy of life is possible only when a person is mature and in older age. Cicero denied the memory decline and declared that older...

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