During our life time it is inevitable that we will grow older. People 65 an older are living longer lives. This age group has been increasing over the years with the help of new technology. During this stage in life we will go through many life transformations. First we will change not only physically, but mentally, and emotionally, and socially. Our roles in life will change drastically and if not prepared it will not be a smooth transition. If a person was once very independent in their younger years and now will need to be dependent on others for assistance it could become a big problem. They may need help with basic daily health needs such as bathing, cooking or may need help getting around town. There are many assistant living facilities that will assist them if needed. Another issue in aging is they may become victims of crimes. Elderly people have physical limitations that will make it harder for them to defend themselves. Discrimination will now become another issue that they will have to face. It may be hard for them to land a job at this age because many companies might be worried that they will constantly be out of work or can’t physically do the job.
Compare living accommodations such as accessibility and the need for health care: There are numerous nursing facilities for the elderly to live in. In the past these facilities were ran like institutions and less like a home. The new facilities are well equipped with everything they would have in their own homes. Facilities provide entertainment, social gatherings, everything you would need to enjoy your elderly years. Many elderly people would prefer to live and maintain their own households with their spouses and not have to resort to facility living. Health care is important to the elderly generation because they are more apet to have health problems. Because of the increasing cost of health care Medicare and Medicaid programs were put in place to reduce the cost of health care for this age group. Another medical issue for the elderly is that Physicians are primarily trained in treating young people and the elderly does not receive the quality care they need. In that age group medical care is crucial for their survival because they are more frail and sick than the younger generation.
The transition from work to retirement is a major part in anyone’s life. Mandatory retirement was once created for people age 65 an older, it was meant to abolish the oversupply of available workers. Congress eventually stopped this law because it was discriminating towards the elderly. Retiring is a major adjustment in life for those who worked there whole lives. One of the many adjustments are living on a smaller income, and no interaction from fellow coworkers. Social Security benefits is a financial assistance program for retired people 65 and up but it was never intended to make a person financially independent. It is impossible to live comfortably just off of social security checks alone.
About 95 percent of older adults receive Social Security; for 18 percent of them, Social Security is their only income. Americans who did not prepare themselves finically will need to work for the rest of their lives. Those who did not prepare themselves for retirement will have to worry about money and possible have to rely on government assistance. Those who did prepare themselves financially will not have to worry about money an can enjoy their leisure time and enjoy the many things that they weren’t able to do while working such as traveling, golfing, etc. Many people at this stage will get bored an unfulfilled without a job to go too.
Volunteering their time and possible a part time job are a few ways an elderly couple can do to stay productive and be a contributing citizen. Older people volunteering their time can also lead to a higher feel of worth and self-esteem. Many changes go in in marriage, family, and peer relationships when we grow older. Older people are married they are happier than the non-married ones. When we age we will have to understand that one spouse will have to take care of their spouse. The caretaking spouse will get frustrated, angry, overwhelmed with caring for their spouse. When a spouse is ill this can drain the family savings and add more stress over finances. When a spouse dies it can be very emotional for the spouse that is left behind they will begin to experience loneliness’, depression and will have more things to take care of on their own. The surviving spouse will have to be emotionally ready to move on with life without their mate. Peer relationships will also change because friends are sick and dying and reminds them that the end is near.
This can lead to elderly people staying in the house and distancing themselves from other people and family. Some elderly begin to live with family and like the idea that they are around their loved ones. Others do not want to put a burden on to their family and decide to move into a nursing facility instead. Living with someone else can become a major shock because they are used to living on their own. The social policies that affect the older adults are Medicaid, Medicare, social security benefits, and the older Americans act of 1965. Medicare was created to assist older people with the cost of health care. Everyone 65 and older will be eligible for this service. Everyone in the United States is eligible for some sort of social security benefit after retirement age if they worked. This Money is paid into the social security system from taxes from employees and employers. It is a certain amount of money given every month to offset the cost of living.
Some elderly people live off just social security alone because they did not plan correctly for the future. If a person does not have any pensions, savings and other income it will not be enough to live comfortable off of. . The Americans Act of 1965 is a law and its amendments and they are the basis for federal aid to states and local communities to meet the needs of the older generation. This law assists with an adequate income, physical and mental health, housing, employment opportunities. The final service made for the elderly is Medicaid. It provides services for low income families, and those who need public assistance. Each state is different with the Medicaid benefits. When we age we will all change mentally, physically, physically and socially it’s all a part of this life cycle. With proper planning and research growing older can be a smooth transition in life. Financial planning, family support, resources are all positive can contributions to everything an older adult needs.
Dale, O., Smith, R., Norlin, J. M., & Chess, W. A. (2009). Human behavior and the social environment: Social systems theory (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.