|A 72-year-old retired accountant demonstrating Stage 3 adult-onset transchronia|
"This is a previously unheard of stage of development," developmental geriatrician Mort Fishman, MD explained. "For every adulting 22-year-old graduate student learning to do laundry for the first time or how to get a passport, I'm seeing a retired neurosurgeon sucking their thumb and putting on their first diaper in decades."
Elderly-onset transchronia, like the midlife crisis in younger adults, involves a transition of identity, likely in response to stressful life events or perhaps a growing awareness of their own mortality. The midlife crisis often presents as depression, anxiety, or an intense desire to make lifestyle changes in an attempt to recapture lost youth, but it can be benign and it tends to resolve. EOT, however, results in an increasingly focused obsession with living life as an infant that persists until death.
Transchronia in the elderly appears to go through several stages of increasingly infantile behavior. According to Fishman, the first stage is often very subtle, with the development of stranger anxiety or an infatuation with a set of jingling house keys. "By stage 3, bowel and bladder control has been lost and a diaper is required. At stage 7, object permanence is lost. At stage 9, driving may no longer be safe."