The world's population is getting older nowadays, this means that the elderly comprise rather a large social group, which deserves great attention and care. Some problems of elderly people are very essential today. As we know the period of old age on the one hand is one of the most complicated and difficult parts of our life. It is a period of life revive, revaluation of moral views and values, summing up the total results of life. It is associated with some critical moments, such as the "empty nest", the retirement from work, the death of a spouse. All these events leave a great trace on the mentality of elderly people and whether they overcome these difficulties successfully or not, they all need support.
On the other hand it is also a period of joys. In old age people become grandparents, they discover new pursuits and hobbies and devote more time to each other.
The aim of our course paper is to observe in detail all spheres of social life of elderly people as it is very important for understanding of the nature of old age better. In our course paper we also intend to define an elderly person, study different criteria of stating the onset of old age and explore the benchmarks of elderly people. We'll try to survey the life of the elderly people in America, paying special attention to the perception of elderly people, to their family and social relationships, problems of work and retirement, leisure time and social care.
We use various methods to collect the necessary information. The course paper includes analysis of scientific and popular literature, most of American publication, publications of sociologists; compilation of information and comparison of different spheres in the social life of the elderly people.
Chapter1. The Perception of Elderly People 4
1.1 Stages of Adulthood and Benchmarks of Old Age 4
1.2 Changes in the Status of the Old 6
Chapter2. Family Life and Social Relationship 9
2.1 The Empty Nest syndrome 9
2.2 Grandparenthood 12
2.3 Intergenerational Support and Assistance 17
Chapter3. Work and Retirement 20
3.1 Work and the Problem of the Aging Worker 20
3.2 The Retirement Decision 25
3.3 Adjusting to Retirement 27
3.4 Income 30
3.5 Social and Financial Support 33
Chapter4. Leisure and Political Involvement 39
4.1 Objectives of Leisure 39
4.2 Political Involvement 41
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