Social adaptation of the elderly: a view from all sides

Social adaptation of the elderly: a view from all sides

Problems of social and socio-psychological adaptation of pensioners are the most urgent at the moment. To make the adaptation smooth, it is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of old age. It is extremely important not to disturb the way of life of elderly people. This is especially true in residential homes and boarding houses, the adaptation of the elderly in which sometimes causes the pensioners painful and disturbing feelings.

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The concept of adaptation. The goals of social adaptation of the elderly

Adaptation is commonly understood as a dynamic state of the system, a certain process of adaptation to the conditions of the external environment, the relationship with the properties of the living organism, which ensure the stability of this organism in the changing environment.

The goals of social adaptation of the elderly, as well as the disabled, are:

  • Preservation and maximum extension of social activity of this group of persons;
  • Development of personal potential;
  • Creating conditions for the opportunity to spend their free time pleasantly and profitably;
  • To facilitate the awakening of new interests;
  • To ensure the facilitation of the establishment of new friendships;
  • To organize a variety of cultural and educational activities to meet entertainment needs;
  • To satisfy the needs in the sphere of communication;
  • Providing an environment to enhance the personal activities of disabled and elderly people;
  • Carrying out activities aimed at supporting and increasing their vitality.

The main point in the definition of social adaptation is definitely the essence of the adaptation process itself, i.e. it is the problem of human survival, which can be achieved through harmonious adaptation to the changed environmental conditions that surround the subject at a given time.

Social adaptation is an active assimilation by a person or group of people of a new, unknown for her social environment.

The concept of social adaptation is a complex phenomenon that includes both psychological and social aspects.

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How does the adaptation of the elderly occur in the modern world?

The adaptation processes that take place in the elderly are caused by the appearance of certain traits.

The main one is the rational perception of the modern way of life

Social adaptation is characterized by the acceptance of the emerged conditions of life by a person who has reached a certain age. This type of adaptation takes quite a short time.

Some part of pensioners normally accept arisen conditions, i.e. they know how to dispose of the released time.

Mostly such people are engaged in sports, socializing with peers, hobby groups, that is, they have no time for depression.

Aerobic exercise at an advanced age

Some older people can not come to terms with the situation, and in these cases, the intervention of specialists is required.

Special attention and care should be given by family and friends, so that pensioners do not feel lonely.

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Types of social adaptation

There are several types of adaptation:

  • Constructive type. Refers to optimally adapted people who can adapt in all conditions. Dominant here are the needs and a clear position in life.
  • Protective type. Characterized by the fact that in the foreground are the needs to protect themselves. On the whole, this is an adequately adapting subject who adapts at the expense of himself or herself and can defend him or herself independently.
  • Actively Aggressive Type. Characterized by aggressiveness and inadequate perception of reality. They blame the difficulties that occur on external circumstances, according to the principle that it is not my fault.
  • The passive type of adaptation. Is manifested by self-pity, states of depression, general lack of initiative.

After a period of quarantine, work on social rehabilitation continues, taking into account personal and age specificities, as well as the health status of the person being observed at this stage, a major role is played by socio-pedagogical education.

Let us consider the basic criteria of effectiveness of social work.

Criteria of efficiency . A peculiarity is the presence of high interest of the elderly with limited abilities in active life activity, socially adaptive work.

Criteria of optimality. It is shown in the maximum efficiency at the least physical expenses on the part of the client.

Motivation Criteria. Demonstrated in the creation of conditions for increasing the activity of clients.

Controllability Criteria. Reflected in clients’ disposition to various kinds of social adaptive work.

Criteria of consistency. Manifested in the systematic use of each of the areas of social adaptive work.

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Adaptation in the professional sphere is conditioned by the adaptability and habituation of the elderly person to the position.

The elderly person should optimally fit into society and have the skills and abilities in this area of work.

Leisure activities for the elderly in a private nursing home

Professional adaptation is similar to the processes of social adaptation, but manifested in professional relationships.

The main thing in this type of adaptation is to understand and accept the conditions.

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Adaptation of the elderly in private homes for the elderly

The perception of the news of living in nursing homes among the elderly manifests itself in different ways.

Some see such living as the norm and thus do not want to cause problems to their relatives, while others express discontent and accuse relatives of being rude and cruel.

Of course, moving pensioners into residential homes is accompanied by a number of problems:

  1. A change of residence;
  2. A change of surroundings;
  3. A change in daily routine;
  4. Temporary absence of relatives.

In reality, such a process is very difficult for the elderly. In such cases, the help of relatives is necessary; in the first stages, it is recommended to visit and help them as often as possible.

When choosing a boarding house, relatives should carefully study the services provided by the institution.

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The benevolence and care of relatives and support staff is necessary to optimize the adaptation process when an elderly person stays in specialized institutions.

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Adaptation of the Elderly in Modern Society

Mityakina N. A., Veretelnikova E. A. Adaptation of the elderly in modern society. – Text : immediate // Young scientist. – 2020. – № 52 (342). – С. 388-389. – URL: (date of reference: 21.09.2022).

The article deals with the problems of finding the elderly in modern society and proposes ways to solve them.

Key words: modern society, the elderly, retirement, the elderly.

In modern society the elderly are increasingly becoming the most vulnerable. The level of income of low-income citizens is increasing every month, while the income of pensioners is practically unchanged.

There is a general increase in the number of elderly people in our country against the background of decreasing life expectancy. There are more than 35 million people of working age in the Russian Federation. Elderly people are a rapidly growing socio-demographic group, accounting for one fifth of the country’s population. The share of people of retirement age increases every year.

Population aging requires more attention to medical, communal, domestic, cultural and other types of services, i.e. to all social infrastructure. The problems of the elderly in modern society are considered mainly as a consequence of urbanization. It is necessary to consider those cultural and social factors that determine the specifics of the aging process and the position of the elderly in society: ownership of property and income, strategic knowledge, ability to work, mutual dependence, tradition and religion, loss of roles and role uncertainty, loss of future. [1]

Old age is a stage in life where frequent social loss and lack of gain occur. When the major tasks in life are accomplished, responsibility diminishes and dependence increases. They clearly show the elderly person’s decreased participation in social life and increased marginalization. Modern civilization favors youth, energy, enthusiasm, and innovation over passive old-fashioned old age. From this perspective, old age appears as a loss of social roles.

After retirement a person ceases to be an integral part of the family, ceases to be a worker. In modern society, labor activity performs a number of functions. It not only provides a person with means of subsistence, gives him a certain status, but also gives him social activity. At the level of personality, it is considered as a way of conscious identification and approval of one’s place in the system of social relations and self-realization. For any person, labor activity is a prerequisite for his full-fledged, interesting life, creative activity. Therefore, work is also necessary for the elderly, whose personal interests with time are significantly limited and narrowed. [2]

The period of retirement or, as it is often said, a crisis period in a person’s life. Continued significant changes in the life situation are associated with external factors (the emergence of leisure, changes in social status) and internal (awareness of the age-related decline in physical and mental strength, the dependent position of society and family). These changes require people to revise their values, attitudes toward themselves and the world around them, and to search for new ways to implement activities. For some people this process takes a very long time, it is difficult, it is accompanied by worries, passivity rather than the ability to find new things, to look at themselves and the world around them in a new way. The other category of elderly people, on the contrary, adapts quickly, is not prone to drama and transition to a retirement lifestyle. They make full use of their increased free time and find a new social environment.

A person’s transition to the group of the elderly significantly changes his or her relations with society and such value-normative notions as the purpose and meaning of life, good and happiness, etc. People’s way of life has changed significantly. Previously, they were connected with society, production and social activities-as pensioners (by age) tend to lose their permanent connection with production. However, as members of society, they continue to engage in certain activities in various spheres of social life.

Retirement is especially difficult for people whose work was highly valued in the past and is now considered worthless and useless. Of course, the break with work has a negative impact on health, vitality, and the psyche.

A small number passes the negative phase of the crisis of old age, and most of them need attentive and qualified help of specialists, close people and society as a whole. In our society there are stable positive stereotypes of the elderly which evaluate their experience, knowledge and ability to stand in difficult life situations. So, it is quite realistic to give an attitude to their importance for the young, to help them, and for the young to accept help and not only at home, but also in professional, social activities. [3]

The elderly should be seen as an integral part of the population. They should also be considered in the context of population groups such as women, young people, the disabled, etc. They are an essential and necessary element in the development process at all levels in society.

Improving the level and quality of life of the elderly as an important condition for improving the way of life in old age is a complex complex process, during which the state of physical and spiritual health, satisfaction with living conditions, high provision with the necessary material, spiritual, cultural and social benefits, harmonious relations of the elderly with the social environment are achieved.

The public at large should be informed on the issues related to the treatment of the elderly, who need communication, attention and care. An instrument for overcoming the lack of communication is the widespread creation of special centers-clubs for the elderly on the basis of existing cultural institutions: philharmonic societies, museums, libraries, cultural and information centers.

Together with them, young people should be encouraged to get involved in the provision of services and care, as well as in the implementation of activities for the elderly in order to strengthen the connection between the generations.

Mutual aid between healthy and active older people and their assistance to less well-off peers, as well as the involvement of older people in informal activities, should be developed whenever possible. [4]

Loss of respect for the bearers of the past, increased social isolation leads to unfavorable social and psychological well-being of the elderly, depression, uncertainty about the future, the constant expectation of undesirable changes make this social group unprotected, which differs from other categories by uncertainty of social status and greater dissatisfaction with their lives.

As a result, older people easily go out on the street and need social and psychological support from their loved ones and society as a whole.

  1. Chernysh N. D., Korenkova G. V., Mityakina N. A. Problems, methodological foundations and trends in the development of professional culture of architectural environment creation // Bulletin of Belgorod State Technological University named after V. G. Shukhov. G. Shukhov, 2015. no. 6. С. 93-97.
  2. Anurin V. Some Problems of Sociology of Old Age // Psychology of Old Age and Aging: Textbook / Comp. О. V. Krasnova, A. G. Lieders. – Moscow: The Academy, 2003. – С.87-90.
  3. Aleksandrova M.D. Domestic studies of the social aspects of aging // Psychology of the old age and aging: Reader’s guide / Compiled by O.G. Krasnova. О. V. Krasnova, A. G. Lieders. – Moscow: Academia, 2003. – С.55-56.
  4. Bakhtiyarov R.Sh., Gnezdilov A. V., Gnezdilov A. V., Diatchenko O. T. et al. Gnezdilov A. T. et al. Psychological and social aspects of rehabilitation of oncological patients of senile age // Psychology of old age and aging: Textbook / Comp. О. Krasnova V., Lieders A. G. – M.: Academia, 2003. – С.314-321.

Key terms (generated automatically): modern society, old age, old age, society, surrounding world, elderly person, advanced age, social environment, social status, labor activity.

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