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Relationships in Older Adulthood

Relationships in Older Adulthood - Relationships in Older...

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Relationships in Older Adulthood Given increases in longevity, today's older adults face the possibility of acquiring and maintaining  relationships far longer than during any other time in modern history. For instance, nearly 1 in 10  adults over the age of 65 has a child who is at least age 65. Nurturing long-term family relationships  can bring both rewards and challenges. Over the decades, sibling rivalry may disappear and give  way to peaceful relationships, while younger adults may feel the strain of trying to care for their aging  and ailing parents, grandparents, and other relatives. Still, most young people report satisfying  relationships with their older family members. Marriage and family People sometimes refer to older adult marriages and families as “retirement marriages” or  “retirement families.” In such families the following demographics typically hold true:  The average age of the wife is 68, and the husband, 71. Their previous marriages had lasted for more than 40 years, and they had high levels  of marital satisfaction. They have three grown children, the oldest being about 40. Even though they consider themselves retired, 20 percent of the husbands and 4  percent of the wives continue to work. The typical household income is less than in earlier stages of the lifespan, often translating into a  decrease in standard of living. Widowhood , or the disruption of marriage due to death of the spouse, presents by far the most  devastating event in older adult marriages. Nearly 3 percent of men (“widowers”) and 12 percent of  women (“widows”) in the United States are widowed. In the 75 and older age group, approximately 
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