The Case of Samuel,” apply the theory that you have identified to explain Samuel’s self-concept and personality development as an older adult. Are these life changes social, cognitive, physical, or emotional—or a combination of these elements of human development? Discuss how the theory would guide a professional in your specialization who is working with Samuel.
Samuel is a healthy, 65-year-old Hispanic male who has worked as a steel worker for LTV Steele for the past 45 years. Last year, his wife of many years died unexpectedly in an auto accident, and the doors to the LTV plant were closed permanently due to a major decline in the steel industry in Samuel’s region of the country.
Samuel, usually an optimistic person, is suddenly unable to motivate himself to do even mundane tasks, such as buying food at the grocery store. To make matters worse, the stock market, where most of Samuel’s investments for retirement were located, has been performing poorly, causing him great concern about how he would live now that he is unemployed.
Samuel is fortunate to have four adult children living nearby, along with seven grandchildren ranging in age from 6 to 12 years. He has always been active in his church, and, in particular, has been involved in volunteering with the church youth group. Young people in the youth group frequently sought Samuel out for guidance, due to his good nature and optimistic view on life.
With the sudden death of his wife, he is suddenly questioning his commitment to God. With the major life crises that Samuel is dealing with, he finds himself even retreating from even his grandchildren. Samuel realizes that he has a lot to offer the community, but he is most concerned right now with how he will afford to live, the loneliness he feels without his wife, and his fear that, due to his age, nobody will hire him for a job. He was expecting this time of his life to be the most exciting, as he and his wife had bought a larger camper to travel the country. He wonders how all this could have changed in only one year.