Human life is a process. A number of psychologistshave attempted to identify the particular tasks thatmust be accomplished at each stage ofdevelopment. Successful completion of tasks at onestage means that the individual normally proceeds tothe next stage and a few set of tasks. It is notalways recognized, however, that there are newtasks for the aged1 as well as for those who are younger. Aging, in other words, is a new stagein the developmental process of life.
What are the developmental tasks faced by the aged? Some tasks are similar to those of otherage groups, and some are peculiar to the elderly. In the nineteenth century, for instance, mostmen had no transition to retirement. Typically, a man worked until disability or death. Fewpeople had to deal with the "empty nest2" problem, since children either did not leave the familyhouse or returned there to live with their elderly parents.
Today, when an increasing number of people are living into their seventies and eighties, thereare at least five developmental tasks facing the elderly. First, the aged must come to termswith3 the physical limitations inherent in4 their stage of life. They will no longer be able toengage in certain activities as often or as successfully as they once could. Second, havingcome to terms with the limitations, the older person must redefine the scope of his or heractivities. Third, the older person must find new sources for satisfying his or her needs. Thismay be particularly acute at the time of retirement for those who hold to the work ethic.
A fourth task is to reassess the criteria for self-evaluation. Again, the loss of work is involved,for many Americans consider themselves worthwhile because they have a fulltime job. Thequestion the elderly person must face is "Am I a worthwhile person because of the kind ofindividual I am, because of the various qualities I possess, or am I worthwhile only as long asI can function in some kind of job?" A man who lost his job in advertising when he was sixty-one told the author that he could not find another job in his field. He has done some freelancework, but he still mourns the loss of his job. "I loved what I did, " he said, "and I resented beingthrown out on the scrap heap5. There are times when I think I'm just not worth anythinganymore. "
Finally, the aged face the task of finding ways to give meaning and purpose to their 021 lives.This task arises throughout the individual's life. Many elderly people find challenges, struggles,and gratifications just as they did in their earlier years.
Complete the sentences with the proper forms of the words given in parentheses:
1. We are _____( gratification) to learn that you have won the scholarship.
2. Your work in office has not been very _____( product) .
3. Money will be paid half in advance and half on_____ ( complete ) .
4. All railroads have weight and height _____( limit) because of tunnels, bridges and so forth.
1. gratified 2. productive 3. completion 4. limitations