Rich makes a telling observation in the comments.
I also have people in my life whom I believe are not stuck in adulthood but are simply not ready to move to the next chapter yet, if ever. One such friend is in her mid 80’s and is having the time of her life still “doing” and may never find the time for just “being”. But that is her choice, and while it would not be mine, I reject the notion that she is somehow misguided or missing out on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of life. The rub for me is when people find themselves in boxes not of their own making or choice. Death is the enemy of the happy man but it is not the kind of enemy to be feared but rather avoided at all costs. I know that I will embrace my elderhood with passion. I also will celebrate with those who are enjoying the fine patina of a rich extended adulthood. I believe that some people simply never need or want desert with a carefully prepared and joyfully eaten main course.
Some academics argue that the impulse toward gerotranscendence is a primal human drive and thus an elemental part of human nature. Others respond that these changes are more likely to represent a kind of widely shared “tendency. In either case, the culture in which one lives can either enable or impede change in late life.
(Cultural norms are well known as inhibitors of other “universal human tendencies.”)
Our task is to dream of, and then bring into being , a society where people can freely choose the kind of elderhood that fits them best.