By Cozette Eldridge 

W.P. Co. Field Representative

Scientists have been tracking the social, psychological, sexual and moral development of human beings for over a century. As society and the human condition are altered, aging theory is adapted to accommodate the changes. By understanding aging development, we find the keys to successful aging.                         

For example, prior to the twentieth century, the concept of adolescence didn’t exist. One went from childhood immediately into adulthood. As the learning curve extended in modern society, it became necessary to prolong the time to learn how to survive as an adult. The concept of teenager was born, much to the grief of most parents. As longevity has increased significantly over the last century, no longer does one leave the productive world to enter the final phase of life.                             

Most developmental theories have focused on the formative years of childhood. Once a child reached the age of maturity, conventional wisdom believed development was complete. Over the last twenty years, there has been a shift to focus to what occurs throughout adulthood. It is no longer a passive area where people rest on their developmental laurels, researchers have found a rich ground to explore aging development.                                                                                                 There is a theory that after certain needs are fulfilled, we can move to the next level of fulfillment, creating a pyramid. The first level is physiological: breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion. The second level is safety: security of body, employment, resources, morality, family, health, and property. The third level is love and belonging: friendship, family and sexual intimacy. The fourth level is esteem: self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others. The fifth level is self-actualization: morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, and acceptance of facts.                                                                    Once the four levels are met, more time will be spent in fulfilling the need in the fifth level. Self-actualization is a growth or “being” need. We all have a need to express our being. Once we do, it continues to help motivate us. Most people have engaged in peak experiences, those moments when a person feels totally engaged in an endeavor. While fleeting, those experiences are moments of self-actualization. The pyramid is fluid; we still have to take care of the day to day needs. But as we age, this can be a time for growth and fulfillment.

SENIOR CENTER MENU   

SEPT. 30 – OCT. 4                                                                             

MON.  BBQ Pork Sandwich/Bun, Steak Fries, Vegetable Salad/Bacon, Fruit          

TUES. Cheese Burger/Bun, Lettuce/Tomato, Baked Beans, Vegetables, Fruit    

WED. Salmon, Noodles/Alfredo Sauce, Cauliflower/Broccoli, Fruit                                                                                                                                            THUR. Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Colorful Salad, Bread, Fresh Orange                                                                                                                                       

FRI. Pork Roast, Scallop Potatoes, Peas/Carrots, Roll, Fruit, Dessert