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This psychosocial stage has specific characteristics that explain late adulthood behavior.
According to Erickson’s theory, the ego integrity versus despair is a crisis that involves deepened mental engagements (Carducci, 2006). The individual in this stage reflects on the past. They consider the impacts of the decisions they made during the earlier stages of development. The ego of an individual develops when the individuals reflect of the choices they made earlier in their development (Newman, 2012). Ego integrity occurs when the individual reflects on the past decisions of earlier developmental stages as pleasant. In this case, the individual celebrates his/her life through the mentorships and developments they have accomplished to other people. Ego integrity is therefore pleasurable (Carducci, 2006). The individuals perceive their lives as complete. In the case of the deceased client, ego integrity is unattainable to him. Reflection of his life shows sadness and misfortune through the sicknesses within his family, and also his unfulfilled career.
In despair, the individual reflects on the life they have lived and they experience a sense of incompleteness (Newman, 2012). The failures in achievement tend to dominate their thoughts and reflections during this stage of their life. They realize that time has lapsed and they lack control to many situations (Newman, 2012). Therefore, their thoughts are directed towards what cannot be modified and rectified in their old age. Consequently, the individual manifests feelings of anger and intense bitterness (Fry, 1989). The case client in the nursing home may be suffering from despair. He might not have the wisdom to negotiate through the crisis. This case client will undergo despair due to the incomplete feeling upon the reflection of his
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