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Walden University Psychological Aspects of Aging Response Discussion

Walden University Psychological Aspects of Aging Response Discussion

Question Description

Respond by Day 5 to at least two colleagues who applied a theory of successful aging to Sara’s case that differs from the one you applied. State whether you agree that your colleague’s strategy for applying the theory to Sara’s case is likely to be helpful. Provide support for your response and suggest one additional way your colleague might support Sara’s psychological well-being.

Colleague 1: Jessica

Key Life Events

The death of Sara’s husband combined with the constant fighting with her daughter Stephanie has led Sara to feel alone and depressed (Laureate Education, 2013). This is a key life event because it has lead to Sara’s mental health disorder of depression and her hoarding problem. Sara has stated that only buying things and her cats make her happy now (Laureate Education, 2013). Zastrow et. al., (2019) states that depression is the most common mental health disorder in older adults due to loneliness. It is important that Sara be able to find happiness in her life besides buying things that leads to hoarding and her cats.

Activity Theory

Activity theory states that it is beneficial for older adults to be active mentally and physically throughout their life (Zastrow et. al., 2019). In the case of Sara after her husband passed away she did not have a lot of family or friends to keep her company and the day program she was attending did not help her either, she then became very lonely and withdrawn which lead to her depression and hoarding (Laureate Education, 2013). As Sara’s social worker applying the activity theory would mean getting Sara to engage more mentally and physically in different community programs or church programs. This could lead Sara to come into contact with more adults like her self and make more friendships that could help combat her depression and hoarding. Helping Sara find programs that are right for her and make her feel comfortable is important to help combat Sara’s loneliness.


Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). Parker family: Episode 2[Video file]. Retrieved

from https://class.waldenu.edu

Zastrow, C. H., Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hessenauer, S. L. (2019). Understanding human

behavior and the social environment (11thed.). Cengage Learning.

Colleague 2: Tara

  • Explain key life events that have influenced Sara’s relationships. Be sure to substantiate what makes them key in your perspective.

Sara Parker is a 72-year-old widowed woman who suffers from depression amongst other things (Plummer et al, 2014). Sara has felt lonely since her husband died and she feels like she has no one to talk to (Plummer, 2014). Sara expresses that shopping makes her feel better and hoards the items she buys (Plummer, 2014). To make matters more complicated, Sara and her daughter Stephanie have a strained relationship because of the hoarding (Plummer, 2014). Depression in older adults is often because they have been “widowed, divorced, or single” ( Zastrow et al, 2016). Zastrow et al (2016) explain that after being married for many years and a spouse dies, a deep sense of loneliness usually occurs that seems unbearable (p. 678). For Sara, her heightened loneliness and depression may be a result of having difficulty adjusting after her spouse’s death. Consequently, Sara and Stephanie’s relationship suffers as a result.

  • Explain how you, as Sara’s social worker, might apply a theory of successful aging to her case. Be sure to provide support for your strategy.

As Sara’s social worker, I would implement the activity theory for successful aging in her case. The activity theory promotes mental and physical well-being in older adults and aids them in aging more successfully (Zastrow et al, 2016, p. 683). I would encourage Sara to explore volunteering at an animal foundation or pet rescue. Sara expresses she enjoys her cats very much and could be a potential asset to an animal foundation. In addition, together we could find support groups that discuss excessive shopping and hoarding, as well as support groups for depression. I believe connecting Sara with resources for support groups will allow her to work on these problem areas while also encouraging her to find support from her peers in the community. Building new support systems can aid Sara in shedding a bit of the loneliness she experiences and may also enhance her quality of life.


Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., Brocksen S. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case histories. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

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