Stages of Life

Stages of Life

Life consists of a number of stages ranging from the period of pre-birth to the end of life. Each of these stages has their own expectations and experiences. Additionally, each stage has its own goals and needs. Moreover, each stage is marked by specific challenges. The complexity and challenging nature of each stage are dependent with the individual. Each of the stages is of equal significance and necessary with reference to the welfare of humanity. Psychologists play an important role in helping people deal with their challenges at any given stage of life. Therefore, they have to comprehend what constitutes every stage of life, the challenges, and goals so as to offer appropriate guidance. As a result, a number of professionals such as Erik Erikson and Sigmund Freud tried to come up with theories that help in understanding the stages of life. This paper will explore the different stages of life. Thereafter, the paper will narrow down to the evening of life, thus, the old adulthood stage.


The first stage of life is infancy, thus, lasts from age 0 to age 3. Infants have unlimited source f power. They are a representation of the inner dynamo of humanity. This stage is marked with brain development, dependence, and development of sensory abilities and motor skills. The next stage is childhood that lasts from age 3 to age 11. Childhood is divided into early childhood, middle childhood and late childhood. This stage is marked by mastering and growing language and motor skills. Children also learn to socialize and play. This is a stage of continual growth and commencement of schooling. After the late childhood stage, a person enters the adolescence stage. Adolescence lasts between age 12 and age 19. This is the stage that comprises of the biological events of puberty that cause changes to the body of an adolescent. The changes reflect in the teenager’s spiritual, cultural, emotional and sexual passion. Accordingly, puberty leads to hormonal reactions and changes. An adolescent may rely on strong emotions in the decision-making process. An adolescent is also at risk of behavioral risks.

The adolescence stage opens into young or early adulthood. This stage lasts from age 20 to age 35. It encompasses many responsibilities, including finding a mate and establishing a home. Moreover, young adults strive to get a job and establish a circle of friends and a family. Aside from this, the stage also encompasses financial pressures and potential coping. This stage is followed by midlife or middle age. It lasts between age 35 and age 50. People in this stage usually take a break from the responsibilities of the world and reflect to establish a deeper meaning of their lives. They develop a new understanding which they use to forge ahead in subsequent stages of life. Nevertheless, this stage is also allied with career growth and managing a family. There is an increase in the number of couples starting families at this stage of life (age 30-39). However, between age 40 and 60, the first signs of aging such as menopause are experienced. There are changes in lifestyle. During this period, children leave the nest to establish their own homes and lives. Consequently, this stage is also marked with the arrival of grandchildren.

Mature adulthood is the stage that follows and lasts between age 50 and age 80. Individuals in this stage have already established their work life and raised families. Consequently, they work for the betterment of the society through mentorships, volunteerism and other forms of philanthropy. Conversely, this stage is with more signs of lifestyle effects and aging. Most people are usually retired at this age and rely on private pensions and healthcare benefits. Some suffer from health related problems and are under medication. After mature adulthood comes late adulthood that consists of people aged 80 years and above. People living this stage are full of wisdom based on a wealthy repository of experiences. This stage comprises of multiple and cognitive health problems and commencement of frailty. People living this stage require some sort of assistance in order to accomplish day to day living. As they advance in age, they become unable to perform all their personal functions. Consequently, they may move to a nursing home for assisted living.

End of life is the last stage and affects older adults in their late adulthood stage. Individuals who live this stage are those diagnosed with end stage of a disease or a terminal condition. This stage lasts up to six months and marks the end of life. Those affected by terminal conditions or living the end stage of a disease may require nursing home care, hospitalization, and hospice care.

The Evening of Life

According to Carl Jung, aging is a developmental stage in life. He points out that awareness of spiritual, psychological and social significance during the late liminal interval (Kirsch & Hogenson, 2014). Thus, Jung posits that the last half of life after middle life is equally important because people engage in activities that enrich the self and the society (Kirsch & Hogenson, 2014). Therefore, aging is beyond staying on the physical plane while adding up the number of years. It comprises of activities such as unifying the opposites (Stein, 2010). Accordingly, the 60s and the 70s are a period when an older adult is able to hold the tension opposites such as the inner child (puer) and an older person (senex). Subsequently, an older adult is able to draw these opposites closer together (Stein, 2010).

A larger percentage of older adults enjoy good mental health. However, as they advance in age, the older adults increasingly suffer from behavioral and mental health problems. Some of the mental health problems affecting older adults include depression and anxiety (Zarit & Zarit, 2012). These mental health conditions have an effect on their ability to function and adversely affect their physical health. Some of the older adults suffer from late-life problems such as disease, homelessness and loneliness (Goldberg, et al., 2011). Some of the older adults disseminate care to their spouses suffering from a physical disability or dementia, some are coping up with physical health problems, others are managers of conflicts in their families while other are grieving the loss of their loved ones (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). These factors can lead to anxiety and depression.

During the onset of old adulthood, some of the older adults usually have a significant amount of investments and savings while others do not have much. Those with little savings are more vulnerable because of their difficulties in meeting the unexpected costs in case they arise (Novak, 2015). However, people are living longer. As a consequent, even though with savings can exhaust what they have due to a number of expenditures including medical treatment. Inadequate income can be a source of stress, depression and anxiety (Zarit & Zarit, 2012). Moreover, older adulthood is a stage marked by failing health. Diagnosis of terminal illnesses such as cancer can cause unexpected changes to the life of an older adult. Health deterioration can lead to disability (Wilmoth & Ferraro, 2013). As a consequence, an older adult may not be able to meet personal effects and needs (Wilmoth & Ferraro, 2013). Subsequently, this disability may require dependence on a caregiver to assist in activities like toileting, bathing, dressing, ambulating, paying bills and preparing meals among others (Wilmoth & Ferraro, 2013). On the other hand, advancement in age can lead to frailty and general weakness leading to loss of independence. Dementia is the most common causal factor of loss of independence. The risk of dementia, thus, loss of cognitive capacity escalates with the advancement in age (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011).

With reference to Jung, older adulthood is a stage of the spirit. At this stage, an older adult realizes that he or she is more than their body, possessions and friends among others factors. They come to the realization that they are divine beings and not human being with a spiritual experience (Novak, 2015). In harmony with this, Koenig (2006) posits that older adults usually engage in increased reflection. They are less concerned with material things and more interested and focused on satisfaction with life. They acknowledge that earth is not their home. Therefore, older adults view themselves from a different perspective from those of the previous stages (Kirsch & Hogenson, 2014). Spirituality and religion are therefore common and important among older adults. Most of the older adults consider religion as an important factor that helps in adapt and cope up with difficulties and losses (Allen, Harris, Crowther, Oliver, Cavanaugh, & Phillips, 2013). Old age is the evening sun which is now markedly dim because the sun withdraws its rays for the purposes of self-illumination. Therefore, older adults are supposed to devote much of their attention to the self (Vernezze, 2005). People in this stage suffer from fear of death while they also try to understand the meaning of death.

Role of Counseling on Old Adults

Counselors have a big role to play to enable healthy aging. They can interact with older adults in different subfields including rehabilitation, neuropsychology, organizational or industrial, geropsychology, family, counseling and clinical field of psychology (American Psychological Association, 2014). Thus, psychologists or counselors can provide their services to older adults in different settings including group settings, in the community, in healthcare facilities, in the place of residence of the older adults including their homes, in hospices and in assisted-living and long-term care facilities (Karel, Gatz, & Symer, 2012). While disseminating their services to the older adults, counselors work both independently and collaboratively with other members of interdisciplinary teams (American Psychological Association, 2014). In teams, counselors work with different professionals including medical and healthcare professionals and other mental health service providers to provide comprehensive care to older adults.

Geropsychology is a field within the wide field of psychology that is devoted to studying aging and providing clinical services to older adults. Geropsychologists are researchers aimed at expanding knowledge pertaining to the normal process and design of aging (Wilmoth & Ferraro, 2013). They test interventions purposed to address problems commonly faced by older adults. Counselors help older people attain maximum potential in the later years of their lives. They aid in the enhancement of well-being and help them together with their families overcome problems (Koder & Helmes, 2006). Aside from this, as a consequence of the complex nature of the physical and mental health problems affecting older adults, families, and healthcare providers usually turn to counselors for help. This is because counselors have skills in neuropsychological and psychological assessment (Livingston, Johnston, Katona, Paton, & Lyketsos, 2005). They also have knowledge pertaining to the development of diagnostic tools. As a result, counselors have the necessary expertise, experience and ability to assess and differentiate between adjustment reactions, delirium, anxiety, depression, dementia, side effects of medication and a combination of any of these health problems (Livingston, et al., 2005).

Accordingly, counselors play a big role in the identification of the right disorder. This paves a way for appropriate treatment and counseling services. Moreover, counselors help in the determination as to whether older adults possess the capacity and ability to manage their personal affairs (Koder & Helmes, 2006). This is crucial because it prevents further risks allied with inaccessibility to the required social services. On the other hand, older adults face different life stressors including disease, disability, loss of loved ones and financial difficulties among others (Creek & Bruggen, 2008). Counselors use different psychological intervention such as different types of psychotherapies to help older adults cope up with late-life stressors and mental health disorders (Novak, 2015). Some of the most common psychological interventions used by counselors include environmental modification, cognitive training techniques, disease management and behavior modification strategies, psychodynamic psychotherapy, interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (Novak, 2015).

Counselors use these interventions alone or in combination with psychiatric medications. The use of non-pharmacological treatment when dealing with mental health problems among the older adults population is of significant importance. This is due to the fact that, during this stage of life, older adult are often under multiple medications because of their physical health problems (Creek & Bruggen, 2008). As a result, they are usually prone to detrimental side effects of psychiatric medications. Accordingly, counselors use supportive counseling and psychotherapy to treat anxiety disorders among older adults. Counselors also help caregivers providing care to the older adults (Creek & Bruggen, 2008). Caregivers are susceptible to anxiety, depression, anger, substance abuse and stress-related health problems because the role of caregiving is taxing and stressful. Subsequently, counselors help them deal with the emotional and practical demands allied with caring for a cognitively or physically impaired older adult relative (Creek & Bruggen, 2008).

Counselors also help older adults together with their families with planning for advanced care. They counsel terminally ill older adults and their families to enable them decrease distress, manage feelings and manage pain subsequent to death and grief (Zarit & Zarit, 2012). Anxiety and depressions are usually allied with a terminal diagnosis and the progression of the illness. Accordingly, counselors assess, establish and treat these mental health conditions with the aim of reducing distress and suffering. Moreover, counselors also train physicians to detect and improve the condition of caregivers and older adults suffering from psychological distress (Wilmoth & Ferraro, 2013).


Older adulthood is a stage marked with physical, mental, economic and social issues. Counselors can help older adults and their families cope up with these challenges. However, they first have to identify the challenges and problems so as to come up with effective strategies to mitigate the same. While dealing with older adults, counselors have to put in mind that the spiritual aspect of life is very important during this stage of life.


Allen, R., Harris, G., Crowther, M., Oliver, J., Cavanaugh, R., & Phillips, L. (2013). Does religiousness and spirituality moderate the relations between physical and mental health among aging prisoners? International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 28 (7), 710-717.

Americal Psychological Association. (2014). Guidelines for Psychological Practice With. American Psychologist, 69 (1), 34-65.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011, Aug 22). Older Adults: What Challenges Might Older Adults Have? Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Creek, J., & Bruggen, H. (2008). Occupational therapy and mental health (4th ed.). London: Churchill Livingstone.

Goldberg, S., Whittamore, K., Harwood, R., Bradshaw, L., Gladman, J., & Jones, R. (2011). The prevalence of mental health problems among older adults admitted as an emergency to a general hospital. Age and Agieing , doi: 10.1093/ageing/afr106.

Karel, M., Gatz, M., & Symer, M. (2012). Aging and mental health in the decade ahead: What psychologists need to know. American Psychologist, 67 (3), 184-198.

Kirsch, T., & Hogenson, G. (2014). The Red Book: reflections on C.G. Jung’s liber novus (First Edition). London; New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Koder, D., & Helmes, E. (2006). Clinical psychologists in aged care in Australia: A question of attitude or training? Australian Psychologist, 41 (3), 179-185.

Koenig, H. (2006). Religion, spirituality and aging. Aging & Mental Health, 10 (1), 1-3.

Livingston, G., Johnston, K., Katona, C., Paton, J., & Lyketsos, C. (2005). Systematic Review of Psychological Approaches to the Management of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Dementia. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 162 (11), 1996-2021.

Novak, M. (2015). Issue in Aging . Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge.

Stein, M. (2010). Jungian psychoanalysis: working in the spirit of C.G. Jung. Chicago: Open Court.

Vernezze, P. (2005). Don’t worry, be Stoic : ancient wisdom for troubled times. Lanham: University Press of America.

Wilmoth, J., & Ferraro, K. (2013). Gerontology: perspectives and issues (4th ed.). New York: Springer.

Zarit, S., & Zarit, J. (2012). Mental Disorders in Older Adults, Second Edition: Fundamentals of Assessment and Treatment. New York City: Guilford Press.

Essay Tutors
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why You Should Choose Us

Affordable Prices

Since we know that we are dealing with students, either part time or full time, many might be having financial constraints, but still want to pursue academic life. This has made us ensure we have very affordable prices, and wonderful discounts, yet give high quality products.

Professional Writers

Our reputation has been built because of the dedicated and highly qualified writers in our team. The writers give clients high quality products which guarantees return clients and referrals.


Our team is dedicated to giving clients the best quality products. However, if a paper does not meet the requirements stated by the client, our team will provide free revisions to the satisfaction of the client.

Moneyback guarantee policy

We believe that clients should get value for their money. If the client finds that the product has not met the requirements stated, we will refund the amount paid.

Original papers

We understand how plagiarism can ruin clients’ careers and reputation. We thus strive to provide original papers to our clients. We use several tools to check plagiarism. This ensures that clients get products that meet their institutions’ standards.

24/7 Customer Support

You can reach our support team via, live chat, email or phone. All your issues will be dealt with asap as the team works round the clock.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

You have other errands to run? No need to worry. Place your order with us, carry out your errands while we do your paper and deliver on time.

Blog Writing

Give us a topic you want your blog based on, and let our team handle the rest. You will get the best article to be published in any forum you want. We have able team to do all the work for you.


Many students are given assignments by their tutors. However, students find it challenging to just even come up with a topic. This should no longer be a problem to you. Just visit our site, contact the support team that will help you place your order, and find the best writer to handle the assignment.

Dissertation Services

Dissertation has proven to be challenging to most students. For this reason, we have specialized writers who handles only these kind of papers. You will be in constant touch with the writer and the support team once you place a dissertation order to make sure nothing goes wrong.

Editing and Proofreading

Some students have good points and writing prowess. However, they make minor mistakes that deny them good grades. To avoid such cases, you can give us your already written paper so that our team can edit it to the correct formatting style, language, proper flow and the correct academic language. This gives you an upper hand to get the best grade than a person whose job has not been edited.