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Rasmussen College older adults and housing options Discussion

Rasmussen College older adults and housing options Discussion

Question Description

1.With advances in technology and medicine, over the last century the average life expectancy has continued to increase. This means a larger population of older adults. Unfortunately, older adults and seniors in America are viewed as less productive members of society and therefore to not receive as much attention or are viewed in a less positive way. Americans tend to have their older adult parents placed in nursing homes or senior living areas so that they don’t have to deal with the “hassle” of taking care of them. Since older adults and seniors typically have more medical needs and may require assistance completing daily tasks such as bathing and cooking, Americans don’t want to be burdened with taking on the role of caretaker.

Whereas some older adults may require skilled care, many are put into institutions at the first sign of a health issue. In 2012, approximately 1.3 million Americans were living in nursing homes (Institute on Aging). This isolation can lead to mental health issues such as depression. In the United States, suicide ranks as the tenth leading cause of death, and in 2018 adults 75 to 84 years old had a suicide rate of 18.71 per 100,000 (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2020). A contributing factor to this could be isolation from loved ones and feelings of loneliness.

America culture differs from many other countries’ cultures in the way that older adults and seniors are treated. In many Asian cultures, elders are highly respected and tend to live with family for a majority of their lives. Many other cultures, such as those in Latin America, view family as a priority and will have multiple generations and extended family living together. American’s views on older adults and seniors possibly stem from believing that you must be a productive member of society. But having this view causes everyone to lose because there is much to be learned from older adults and they deserve to be cared for just as much as the youth.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (2020, March 1). Suicide Statistics. Retrieved from https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/

Institute on Aging. (n.d.). Read how IOA views aging in America. Retrieved from https://www.ioaging.org/aging-in-america

2.

The trend of separating our elderly from loved ones from family has many consequences on the family unit. Like all humans, the elderly never lose the human need for emotional, physical, and social intimacy. While some elderly may benefit from residing in nursing homes and retirement homes, many do not and suffer as a result. As our elderly face challenges such as the loss of hearing, blindness, immobility, and the loss of loved ones, they become at risk of greater isolation and loneliness. (Cox, Tice & Long 2016). Isolation and loneliness increase as the elderly separate from their family. For an older person to spend the remainder of their life separated from their family causes that person to experience feelings of insignificance, and a lack of affirmation from the people they invested in and supported their entire life. These feelings cause further issues with feelings of low self-worth and a general sense of lack of dignity as they contemplate their lives. The separation, isolation, and lack of emotional intimacy from family, life long friends, and neighbors further impacts the general well being and physical health of the elderly. (Cox, Tice & Long 2016) I believe as the older person is separated from a family, the remainder of the family also suffers negative consequences. The family loses out on being with the older person and experiencing this part of their life journey. A sense of guilt and remorse can develop in family members as they struggle with the reality of their parent or relative nearing the end of life in a nursing home or retirement home. Without the older family member close by, the rest of the family will miss out on continued experiences, and perhaps stories of life experiences the older family member would share if they remained nearby. As the elderly are most vulnerable and are needing more assistance in life we the family misses out on being with them to provide care and love.

I believe the decision to separate our elderly in America comes from our country’s deep-seated fear of aging and death (Cox, Tice & Long 2016). Our culture has lost the ability to see the value in our elderly and instead tend to look the other way and “turn a blind eye.” By removing them, we then do not have to deal with the fears of aging and the implications of mortality. Our society values people and organizations that can generate finances and continue to contribute monetarily to our country. The elderly are often seen as a liability to financial prosperity if they are unable to produce and participate in our economic growth.

Japan is an eastern country and culture that has had a long history of valuing and caring for the elderly within the family unit. In contrast to the American culture that tends to devalue and separate the elderly, the Japanese have applied the opposite approach of respecting and valuing their elderly. Where Americans are quicker to consider nursing homes as an option for our older family members, the Japanese have historically maintained the family unit. The Hispanic culture has also taken a different route than the US when considering care for their elderly. A recent poll suggested that “fewer than 2 in 10 Hispanics age 40 and older say they are very or extremely confident that nursing homes and assisted living facilities can accommodate their cultural needs. ” ( Trielli 2017)

References

Cox, L. E., Tice, C. J., & Long, D. D. (2016). Introduction to Social work An advocacy-based Profession. Lon Angeles: Sage.

Poll: Hispanics Lack Confidence in Assisted Living Homes (2017) Retrieved April 7, 2020 Fromhttps://www.aarp.org/caregiving/basics/info-2017/hispanics-assisted-living-fd.html (Links to

3.

The separation from loved ones can result in two types of loneliness for the aging: emotional isolation and social isolation (Cox, Tice, & Long, 2016, p.241). The impact of social isolation has the most significant negative impact on the aging members of society due to its correlation with depression and suicide, in respects to decreased relational and collective connectedness (Cox, Tice, & Long,2016, p.241). If an elder parent regularly spends their time with their spouse and extended family finding themselves distanced from others due to an illness, the lack of face to face interaction, or feeling as though they are a member of the family can bring on bouts of depression. A few of the ways individuals can combat social loneliness at this age are to engage in day programs that incorporate socialization into their list of activities; for those that do not want to be around other seniors, they can choose to volunteer at local hospitals (Munn, 2020, slide 10). The act of staying active and busy helps reduce the onset of physical ailments; hence the phrase, working keeps you healthy and young. This ironically may also involve the lack of interaction between grandchildren and grandparents, as grandparents who serve as childcare for their relatives have been seen to have increased levels of stress and decreased levels of health status (Chen, Mair, Bao, & Yang, 2015).

On the other end, separation from loved ones can impact the younger generations of the family as well. Grandparents who are active in their grandchildren’s lives have been able found to reduce levels of depression in their grandchildren (Dunifon & Bajracharya, 2012). The absence of grandparents can also enable a loss of heritage in first- and second-generation immigrants.

My mother is someone that does not want to be associated with others in her age range. Even though I have tried to talk her into volunteering, as a Caribbean American, she does not like the idea of working for free and wanted a position that pays something. Unfortunately, she never adapted to the use of the internet, which has limited her options in addition to a few other issues. As a way to get her socialized and maybe get a little exercise, she joined planet fitness. Planet fitness became a way for her to interact, see others her age and older getting fit, and she began socializing more and more.

Why is this so commonplace in our country?

One reason for the separation of the elder members of the family from others is because the United States (U.S.) is based on individualism. In contrast, many Caribbean, Asian, and Hispanic countries are collectivist societies. Another reason for the separation in the U.S. is based on the view’s society has of its aging population. The negative stereotypes associated with aging and the usefulness of this group (Cox, Tice, & Long, 2016, p.242), puts them at odds against others who actively contribute to the economy. There can also be an increased financial, mental, and emotional strain on family members in the sandwich generation due to the demands on care for their aging family members (Cox, Tice, & Long, 2013, p.247). Many middle-aged households have two working adults in the home, with one or more children who are still dependent on their parents. The stress of caring, finding money, and time for everyone can put a great deal of pressure on the middle-aged adults in the family.

How do other countries take care of their older adults?

For the most part, other countries treat their aging population very different from the U.S… In countries such as Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Asia, and many Caribbean countries, the older members of society are not looked down upon or stereotyped the way they are in the U.S… The Netherlands has a program where college students can live in a nursing home for free as long as they interact with the residents for 30 hours a week in a way to deter the feeling of social isolation and loneliness experienced by the elderly (MIR Care Consultants, 2018). In Jamaica, they are respected simply due to their age. They are often cared for by family members of either gender as they are in other countries of Hispanic or Asian hereditary. These other countries also have a strong belief in collectivism as well.

References

Chen, F., Mair, C. A., Bao, L., & Yang, Y. C. (2015). Race/Ethnic Differentials in the Health Consequences of Caring for Grandchildren for Grandparents. Journals of Gerontology, 70(5), 793-803. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbu160

Cox, L. E., Tice, C. J., & Long, D. D. (2016). Introduction to social work An Advocacy based Profession. Los Angeles: Sage.

Dunifon, R., & Bajracharya, A. (2012, Sep 1). The Role of Grandparents in the Lives of Youth. Journal of Family Issues, 33(9), 1168-1194. doi:10.1177/0192513X12444271

MIR Care Consultants. (2018, April 19). How Countries Around the World Care for Seniors. Retrieved from mircareconsultants.com: https://mircareconsultants.com/2018/04/senior-care…

Munn, J. C. (2020). Resources for Successful Aging . Retrieved from canvas.fsu.edu: https://canvas.fsu.edu/courses/117471/pages/module…

4.

Separating older loved ones can be stressful and cause many mental health concerns. The life expectancy of loved ones is growing, with much elderly living up to 100 years of age. I have seen a recent amount of elderly celebrating after the age of 100. According to (Cox, 2016, p 214) birth rates and death rates are declining. Separating loved ones could be for Adult daycare, assisted living or long care nursing homes. The Impact of separating our older loves ones is the feeling of isolation, depression or rejection by their family member. On the other hand, there are benefits from separating older loved ones, safety concerns if there are younger children in the home, being able to socialize with friends of their age, receive therapies in the house without having to travel often and getting medical and physical needs met. The younger generation is not learning to be caring for the elderly, so when their parents become elderly, they do not want to care for them. Creating a cycle that is less empathetic for older generations. Many traditions are being changed, fewer family gatherings because the “glue that held the family together” is not there.

Separating older loved ones is becoming common in the United States because there is a rise in single-family homes, both younger adults have to work in the home, siblings not agreeing on the care of the parent, but does not step in to assist with the day to daycare. As well as with chronic illnesses, neurocognitive disorders and other issues could be more of financial strain or one may not have the medical knowledge to assist.

How do other countries take care of their older adults?

Most other countries see elderly people as treasures, respected and feel that it is their responsibility to care for their loved one until the last day. For example, in Vietnam, the elders are considered to carriers of knowledge, tradition, and wisdom. The grandparents live with families and in return, they assist with meal prepping and caring for the children. Unlike in the United States where many see the elderly as a liability, Vietnam sees the elderly as an asset. Rich in culture and traditions.

A place for Mom How do different cultures take care of their Seniors retrieved online

https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/10-10-16-how-different-cultures-take-care-of-seniors/ (Links to an external site.)

Cox, L. E., Tice, C. J., & Long, D. D. (2016). Introduction to social work An Advocacy based Profession. Los Angeles: Sage.

5.

Housing in the United States is not available to everyone. In the United States, living in a home relies on income and the presence of affordable housing. Separating older adults from the rest of the people in a community in housing such as retirement communities can lead to a host of issues. The impact of keeping such populations involving older adults from other groups of people may result in reduced connectivity. Separating a loved one from the rest of their family contributes to social and economic isolation. The older people would lack the frequent social support from their friends and relatives. Also, the other family members may also struggle to reach their loved ones who may be placed in a different area. Age is a significant factor in United States housing. Several older adults in the United States are at risk of becoming homeless or staying in substandard housing conditions. This group of the population usually experience physical and mental limitations that restrict employment. They may also not have enough savings and are not guaranteed to qualify for Social Security benefits. The older adults are exposed to unsafe as well as unsanitary housing conditions. Choices are available for older adults for subsidized housing depending on the individual’s specific location health needs and income. In places like Florida, however, older adults living in a retirement community are stereotypically regarded as people who have sufficient resources for supporting desired lifestyles.
In the United States, community residences and housing reflect one’s income and economic status. These factors decide where one lives. The United States is also a cultural, social, and geographically diverse nation, which impacts the housing factors across the rural and urban areas, and from one region to another (Healy, 2014). Other nations treat their seniors in different ways. In Japan, the aged are highly regarded and respected. In Scotland, the seniors do not invest in nursing homes, rather, they have a community-oriented approach that encourages older people to remain in their homes.
References
Healy, K. (2014). Social work theories in context: Creating frameworks for practice. Macmillan International Higher Education.

6.

It can seem like the elderly are monetized and subsequently pushed aside in America. On the other hand, a concerted effort is made to enrich the youth of our country. While this priority is wonderfully important, one must remain diligent in improving the lives of older adults. In my densely populated city of Orlando, one is sure to come across a nursing home, assisted living facility, or retirement community in their daily commute. Moreover, the state of Florida itself is a popular place for many to retire. Most come to enjoy their final years in a warm climate with ideals of simple living. According to statistics noted from the Department of Elder Affairs for the State of Florida, as of 2018, around 27 % of the state’s population was 60 years or over (“Profile of Older,” n.d.). This number emphasizes the need for quality and affordable options that service our older adults.

The causes and subsequent impact of separating older adults are troubling and varied. Our text describes housing as a basic human need that is a defining characteristic of one’s social status and well-being (Cox, Tice, & Long, 2016). I believe that aging is an uncertain process for many people. These uncertainties can be compounded with feelings of inadequacy once a person reaches a certain age. Much like my mom, many older adults are afraid of losing their independence. They want to be considered functional contributors to society. Often, the elderly forgo comfort and choose to remain unaided by their family as to not be a burden.

Another limiting factor is income. As our elderly population reaches retirement, they are forced to look at their budget within a fixed income. This may be challenging for some as medical bills and food can take precedence over living comfortability. Some senior citizens are forced to live at dedicated facilities that fit their means and budget. This situation is not always ideal. Our text defines slum landlords as those who manipulate vulnerable and needy people by renting out low-cost units that need many repairs (Cox, Tice, & Long, 2016). I believe that this term can also describe the nature of the caretaker as well. When faced with little option due to monetary constraints, one must do what is necessary to keep a roof over their head.

As a final example, it is important to remove barriers that breed separation because these factors can be catalysts for unfamiliarity and unappreciation. It is important to immerse oneself in the perspective of another to fully understand their hardships and predispositions. This is especially important regarding older adults. They are a vulnerable population that deserves a voice. It should be the responsibility of all who are able to acknowledge their needs.

The United States has work to do when care for the elderly is concerned. According to the Association of Health Care Journalists, the United States ranks at or near the bottom in terms of access, affordability, and care coordination when compared to countries like France, Norway, and Sweden (“U.S. ranks worse,” n.d.). Latin countries in Central America and Japan prioritize interaction with family and often host different generations in one home. In Japan, reverence for older adults is practiced from a young age. Regions in the Netherlands seek to dispel feelings of loneliness in nursing homes by allowing university students the option to live in nursing homes (“How Countries,” 2018). All in all, the problem cannot be fully addressed unless the United States chooses to make it a priority.

Cox, L.E., Tice, C.J., & Long, D.D. (2016). Introduction to Social Work: An Advocacy-Based
Profession. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc

How Countries Around the World Care for Seniors. (2018). Retrieved from
https://mircareconsultants.com/2018/04/senior-care…

Profile of Older Floridians. (n.d.). Retrieved from
elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/pubs/stats/County_2018_projections/Counties/Florida.pdf

U.S. Ranks Worse in Elder Care vs. Other Wealthy Nations. (n.d.). Retrieved from
https://healthjournalism.org/blog/2017/11/u-s-ranks-worse-in-elder-care-vs-other-wealthy-
nations/

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