At been working as a Teacher for the

At the age of 40 to 65 years old, many ofus would have established our careers, settled down into a committed relationship.

Many are at the stage of their life where they would have to make ‘big lifedecisions’ and ensure themselves that they are productive so that they wouldnot end up as a failure. They experience changes in many areas of their lives,which includes their physical, cognitive and social needs. This essay attemptsto assess the main challenges faced by two mid-life adults during this stage oftheir life compared to their early adulthood.Respondent A is a fifty-six-year-oldfemale. She is living in a three-bedroom HDB flat alongside with her twodaughters. She has been working as a Teacher for the past twelve years.Respondent B is a sixty-year-old male, married and had just recently left hisjob as a construction worker. When asked about the challenges that they werefacing, Respondent A felt that her health had recently deteriorated, and thishad been affecting her work performance.

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As a result, she also felt that shewas unable to meet the demands of her work scope as well as her colleagues. Shestated “My main challenge is to keep upwith my heavy work-load, as I am a Teacher working in a Special Needs school. Icarry a lot of things and this is contributing to my back problem. I recentlywas also diagnosed with Diabetes. Having to work with new graduates, I mustcatch up with technology and learn how to use my email often.

Very stressfulbut I have to support my family”. Respondent B also mentioned that one of hismain challenges that he faced was his deteriorating health and managing hisfinance. As he was unable to keep up with his work as a construction worker, hedecided to quit his job to focus on his well-being. He stated that “I am already sixty years old. I wasdiagnosed with skin cancer just three months ago.

My children provide a littlefor me, but I think that maybe I will go find a job that is less tiring so thatI can support myself and my wife soon. I do not want to be a burden for them.”Both Respondents felt that their health wasan issue to them. Respondent A was diagnosed with Diabetes and Respondent Bfound out that he was suffering from skin cancer. Respondent A expressed herdesire to be productive at work and her need to catch up with technology andher younger colleagues despite the difficulties she faced at work. WhereasRespondent B, quit his job to focus on his health but at the same timeexpressed that he would be on the lookout to find a job to fend for himself andhis wife and not depend on his children.

As Respondent A is a single mother shehas taken up the role as the sole breadwinner of her household and she holds alot of responsibility to take care of her family, this is a role that a maleusually holds but because of recent change in times Respondent A decided totake up the role of a father and provide for herself and her family. WhereasRespondent B, is not rushing to find a job but because of his social role asthe head of the family, he still wants to provide for his family.According to Eric Erikson, the psychosocialstage that characterizes Middle-aged adults is ‘Generativity vs.

Self-Absorption or Stagnation’. During this stage of life, career and family arethe most important to an individual. Each psychosocial stage is associated witha conflict or crisis where an individual must overcome to move to the next stage (Sokol, 2009).  At this stage of life both Respondent A and Bare adapting to the physical changes of middle age, having to keep up withtheir working lives and provide for both of their families. Once they overcomethis crisis, they will in turn learn to be obtain the care virtue.I have learnt in this research that middleadulthood does not have to mean that one will have a ongoing career, aneverlasting marriage and eternal health. Many people at this stage are atdifferent life phases in terms of their social life, family relationships andtheir career (Lachman, 2004).

As Eric Erickson’s ‘Generativity vsStagnation’ stage is for individuals between fourth to sixty-five years old. By2030, 20 percent of Singapore’s population will be beyond 65 years old, and upto 38 percent by 2050 (Wen,2013). The government implemented the Retirement andReemployment act, to encourage the continuation of work by increasing theretirement age to 62 and offering reemployment to eligible employers up to theage of 65.

This may have detrimental effects to this group of people, most ofthem are at the stage where they should be preparing for retirement, but due toexcessive cost of living and other social responsibilities not many are ableovercome this stage of life. They might feel a sense of insecurity, experience agediscrimination at work, reality shock and learn to adapt in an unfamiliarenvironment. It will also take some time for them to perceive their roles, responsibilitiesand see their work as meaningful.


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