Overview of the Life Challenges of Older Adults

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Life is filled with a lot of ups and downs, and it’s literally impossible to predict what the future has in store. As children, we are taught that its important to go to school and get a good education so that we will be able to live a lifestyle free from a lot of struggle. However, as we get older we start to realize that the direction in which our lives are headed has a lot to do with the family we are born into. A child has no say so about rather they grow up in a household that’s wealthy, or a household that’s considered poor. As a young child grows their focus is on getting old enough to do things by themselves.

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Then later as a teenager their desire is to reach 18, so they can move out of their parent’s house. Once they finally reach 18 then their focus is on, going to college, starting a career, getting married, and have children. It would be wonderful if the plans we set for ourselves went directly as planned unfortunately that isn’t always the case. This paper will give a brief description of dealing with generational poverty, the struggle older adults face in the job world, and the challenges women face during different stages of their life.

Overcoming Generational Poverty

Sometimes people see poverty as not having money to meet the basic needs to live. Families that deal with generational poverty often must overcome more than just the financial part of poverty. Along with not having the finances to live they also often deal with instructive, parental, and divine poverty as well. Poverty leads to a feeling of hopelessness; thus, making it almost impossible to find the motivation needed to break the vicious cycle – one generation to the next. People that are caught in the cycle of generational poverty are often only thinking about survival (“Facts About Poverty”, 2018).

Some of the challenges and issues that poverty-stricken individuals face is not having enough money for food, finding a place to live, dealing with family member issues, or health problems. These issues are dealt with daily, along with other problems that may surface. When people are in this type of environment, they think they don’t have any control over what happens in their life, making them feel like there is no need to plan for a better future. The values of those caught in the generational poverty cycle are different from those who grew up in a middle-class household. Generational poverty values are centered more on survival and short-term outcomes (“Facts About Poverty”, 2018).

The Challenges Older People Face While Trying to Find Employment

The construction of unemployment in the worldwide labor marketplace has changed significantly over the last era. The worldwide workforce is aging and the portion of individuals 50 and over in the construction of the labor marketplace is increasing at a speedy pace. The level of employment between people 50 and over is very important, not only in terms of attaining full time employment, but to also deliver for people’s retirement needs. People aged 50 and over face a lot of specific barriers correlated to their age. One of the biggest barrier is age discrimination, built on stereotypes and myths about the limits of older workers (Markovic, 2017).

The negative penalties that come along with age discrimination in employment can include barriers to employment and hiring, reduced conditions of work and employment, partial career development, and weakened employment protection and rights. Research shows that age discrimination occurs when favored treatment is based on age, rather than on a person’s qualities, and authorizations. Research suggests that employer’s attitudes towards older employees are often related to delusions concerning older people’s abilities. Older applicants are commonly accused of being less psychologically flexible and less physically active than their young competitors (Markovic, 2017).

Employers look at older employees and automatically think that they are in deprived health, resilient to change, uncreative, likely to have an accident, not influenced by technological change, and that they are hard to train. According to research women experience age discrimination earlier in life than men do. The mixture of age and gender discrimination is predominantly difficult for women to overcome. Research also proposes that older women are frequently identified as both less attractive and less capable than younger women. When we are considering the issue of attaining full employment and social welfare, it is necessary to study current employment theory and suggest a new employment strategy (Markovic, 2017).

Many labels and biases related to the employment of elderly individuals that employers usually display to avoid employing them find no justification today and cannot be reserved as valid arguments. Chiefly, the demand for manual work has lessened, which suits older employees to a large degree. Similarly, due to the developments in medicine and better life conditions, the physical and mental wellbeing of elderly people have improved, which helps them to be able to work longer hours than in the past. The reasons elderly people go out and work may differ; however, what is common to all these people is that they want to be actively working if they physically can (Markovic, 2017).

The Changes Women Experience Throughout Life

Women’s life phases are based on the reproductive cycle, starting with menstruation, and concluding with menopause. The phases of a women’s life begin with biology; each month an egg is released from the ovary during ovulation. It travels down the fallopian tube, where it may be fertilized by a sperm. If fertilized, it inserts in the lining of the uterus. If not, the egg and lining are shed during menstruation. This lasts until pre-menopause, which is the time when a woman’s body starts the natural changeover to menopause (“Female Life Stages”, 2018).

Puberty includes a sequence of hormonally focused changes in a girl’s body and brain. Many people think of puberty as an incident patented by the first menstrual period, the term in fact refers to the entire developmental order leading to sexual and reproductive maturity. Its physical signs comprise of faster growth, breast development, genital and armpit hair growth, and the body odor that results from the activation of glands in those areas. The first menstrual period happens close to the end of this process. This entire development usually takes about four and a half years, whereas some girls go through it quicker than others (“Female Life Stages”, 2018).

Once a lady reaches maturity, she is then able to get pregnant. Later, in a women’s life there will come a time when she will no longer be able to conceive; this is called menopause. Menopause is a time in a woman’s life when the ovaries stop making estrogen and consistent periods stop. Menopause is not a health problem, it is a normal biological process. For most women, menopause does not happen quickly or overnight, it happens gradually; most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, the average being about 50 (“Female Life Stages”, 2018).

This depends on the individual body development and hormone heights. As women reaches menopause the production of hormones produced by the ovaries start to reduce. As this process quickens, hormone levels vary more and often a woman notices changes in her menstrual cycle (“Female Life Stages”, 2018).

Has what I have learned about poverty, older adults and women changed my perspective?

My perspective has changed about all the special populations discussed. Growing up my family wasn’t middle class, but my parents did their best to make sure that my brothers and I had what we needed. I appreciate the way my parents went to work and tried their best to instill great work ethics in myself and my brothers. Sometimes its hard to see how hard your parents work until after you get older, and experience life on your own. If I was to ask my mom and dad to rate our income bracket they would probably say in between poor and middle class.

Before reading into the true depths of what poverty really is, I didn’t consider all that comes along with it. I didn’t see the big picture of how growing up in poverty can dictate a person’s entire life. I always thought that even if a person grew up in a state of poverty they could just make a change once they were old enough to do so. I had no idea that if the mind is trained to think that life can’t be anything other than a struggle, then there really isn’t much hope for change. I am open to be more considerate and less judgmental towards people that live in poverty.

As far as older individuals and employment goes, I knew that it was difficult to find work after a certain age; however, I didn’t realize how difficult. When it comes to older people working, that was a subject that I have always frowned upon, because I felt that older people should be retired and enjoying life after a certain age. I never really took into consideration that if older people are still working then there must be a reason for it. When I talk to my mom she stresses the fact that social security isn’t enough, and that’s why she still works a part time job. I don’t like the fact that she still works but I respect it.

I am a woman, so a person might think that I am very knowledgeable about what happens with my body. To be totally honest, I have learned more about myself in the two and a half years I have been taking classes online than ever before. Women go through a lot and sometimes I feel that men have it rather easy. We have menstrual cycles and carry the babies for nine, long, long long, months. Although I feel that way I do respect the fact that the role of a man is to protect and provide for the household; I guess I was just venting.


Writing this paper made me slow down and look at a few things in a different way. I didn’t realize that poverty can last for generations. I have been naive about so many things and am very appreciative for this opportunity to learn more about the topic. I also am a little ashamed about how I looked at older people that were still working a job. Life is unpredictable, and I must be more open to the fact that people are doing what they must do to survive. The way I feel about something is my opinion, and I shouldn’t force my opinions onto others.

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