The whole course of our lives is marked and shaped by transitions, from childhood through to old age. For those affected, transitions are associated with differing degrees of physical, psychological and social change, which can manifest itself positively or negatively.
The third age (60+) and fourth age (80+) are characterised by a large number of transitions marked by loss and challenges. This calls for a high adaptive capacity on the part of those involved. These transitions include the transition from being autonomous to needing nursing care, losing a spouse, or even moving to an inpatient nursing facility. Another significant change is the transition to the retirement phase, also regarded as the transition from the second stage to the third.
Experiencing and handling life transitions
How life transitions are experienced and handled depends on different individual, organisational and social factors. This makes it all the more important to adopt a differentiated and interdisciplinary perspective when studying transition and corresponding adaptation processes.
Based on this understanding, the IAF-FHS deals with the subjective experience and the sequence of transitions in old age. The circumstances under which transitions and adapting to new living conditions are (subjectively) successful is a central question, especially when developing preventative and supportive measures for older adults.