OF MIDDLE AGE
age is the period of full human growth and development defined as the age 40-60. The age of forty is the age of guidance.
By the age of 40 a person's character and personality have stabilized. The age of 60 is the start of old age. It represents
the completion of growth and development.
OF THE MIDDLE AGES
age is characterized by wisdom, actualization, balance, caution, and completion of family and career. It is the stage of complete
wisdom and moral rectitude. Actualization is a stage of feeling of fulfillment. There is balance between intellect and wisdom;
balance between impulse and caution; and balance between conservation or maintenance and innovation. By middle age there is
a more cautious approach to life. Risks and reactions are weighed carefully before taking any drastic action. Because of physical
and intellectual decline after middle age, no new major achievements or break-throughs are expected. The end of middle age
completes the family. For most people there are no more new children to look after. The older children are themselves becoming
adults and setting up their own families.
decline is progressive. Each person and each organ declines at a different rate. Tissue growth declines until the equilibrium
between growth/repair and degeneration is tipped in favor of degeneration. Immunological response declines making the elderly
more prone to infectious and neoplastic diseases. Sensory organs decline gradually decreasing the impact of environmental
stimulation. Male testicular function declines but there is no male climacteric. Sexual difficulties are due to the associated
diseases. In female menopause the ovary is not responsive to gonadotrophins so that the menstrual cycles disappear. Menopause
like adolescence has many biological and psychological problems because it is a period of transition. The post-menopausal
syndrome consists of the physical symptoms of hot flushes as well as psychic changes. There is general decline in cognition
and memory. The speed of intellectual processing is slower than in the youths. The incipient intellectual decline may not
be easily noticed because of the compensatory effect of the accumulated wisdom and experience of middle age. Memory decline
is more serious for short than long-term memory. Long-term memory is remarkably well preserved.
balance predominates towards the end of middle age. There is psychological and emotional stability as a result of a conscious
renunciation of the pursuit of material achievements. The middle aged has realized that there are things in life that will
never be achieved. He also has learned to accept and live with his limitations and failures. He has the balanced view of the
world in which he appreciates the successes and does not lose sleep over failures. Apart from depression that is common the
middle aged does not suffer from major psychological or emotional crises. He is able to cope with the social or psychological
stresses that he meets. The mid-life crisis is a major and drastic change in personality and behavior in a few people. It
is more due to psychological than physical factors. The mid-life crisis is due to the realization that many of the youthful
ambitions will never be fulfilled. In a few persons it manifests as a return to more youthful behavior like promiscuity and
seeking youthful entertainment. It also may manifest as an attempt to deny the onset of middle age. In females the mid-life
crisis is intertwined with the onset of the climacteric. There are behavioral changes mediated by hormonal changes. There
are also behavioral changes due to fear of old age and loss of sexual attractiveness.
middle age is the last stage of family rearing. By this time children are either adolescents or are young adults. There are
still youth problems that the middle-aged parent may have to cope with. Late middle age is also a time of transfer of leadership
to the new generation. The middle-aged parents must train their offspring and give them increasing responsibilities so that
a smooth transition can be achieved without the problem of a ‘generation gap’