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Middle Age and Dawning Awareness Mini-Series:

Page #1: Entering Middle Age and a Dawning Awareness

Page #2: Middle-age: Relationships, Role Reversal and Ambition

Senior Articles of Interest:

Alzheimer's Disease

Cancer: A Death Sentence for the Elderly?

Depression among the Elderly

Community Agencies and Resources: St. Louis, Missouri

Health Insurance 101 for Senior Citizens 

Long term care insurance: What is it really?

Medical Conditions and Information for the Elderly

Medicare: How will it help me?

Medicaid Program: What do I need to know?

Medication Information for the Elderly

Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?

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Entering Middle Age and a Dawning Awareness

 

It is during the time that most people refer to as middle age, which is usually considered to run from about the ages of 40 to 65 in which people generally become aware of the aging process. They become much more acutely aware of the passing of time and the subtle changes that time has taken on their appearance, memory, personal and professional relationships. However, they also may become much more aware of the many compensating factors such as increased wisdom, financial stability, increased self-confidence and sometimes a widening of personal horizons.

Middle Age and Mortality:

For many individuals it is during middle age in which they begin to recognize with the passing of time also comes recognition of the reality of their own mortality. As they develop new aches and pain or the worsening of old aches and pains, they develop a dawning awareness of the early death of friends and family and the reality of physical deterioration.

Middle age also brings for many a multitude of positive elements. Many middle-aged people learn the importance of expressing themselves in a more open way and to not be as constrained by what others may think. They may also become much more open to listening to and taking the advice of others, as well as judging priorities in their lives in a much more realistic, more well-informed way. These changes may also bring about an increase in self-confidence and for many a widening of personal horizons.

Middle Age and a Widening of Personal Horizons:

For many mothers, middle age may become an especially important time to widen individual horizons. Now that children may be older and more independent, this may be a time for some mothers to return to the workforce or otherwise explore new opportunities in their lives. Obviously, this may present both opportunities and occasional crisis for individuals depending on their individual circumstances. This change can promote tension in relationships as the partners respond to new levels of independence.

Children begin to grow up and leave the home. While this may be a time of temporary sadness, as with most things in life this also presents an opportunity for growth and change. This can be an especially difficult time for individuals who have relied upon their children to fulfill a sense of being needed. For others, it may be a feeling of liberation from the daily routine of child rearing and from the limitations of time and money. Instead of regretting that their children have left, many parents have a feeling of having accomplished one of life's major tasks and may now be able to focus their time, money and personal energies on some of the things that they would still like to do in their own lives.

Middle Age and the “Returning Child”:

One of the less fortunate aspects of our current financial environment is that many parents whose adult children have left home now return due to the high cost of independent living, education and healthcare. The parents may feel caught between their desire for the next chapter of their lives and many of responsibilities of the previous one. They may feel like they are caught between the needs and desires of two generations rather than only their own.

Also See: Page #2: Middle-age: Relationships, Role Reversal and Ambition

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By Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate    Adapted from information from Health for Seniors - Amber Books Ltd.                                     

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