Elderly people face problems with status, roles, income, transportation, housing, health care, work, leisure and sexuality. Thus, they receive more public attention to their needs, but in the process they began to be viewed as helpless and dependant. Two major reasons of proportion of elder people are increased life expectancy and declining birth rate. Medical control of decease has greatly increased expectancy. For an example, we have seen a reduction in the death rate from heart attacks. The elderly have a longer life span to the advancement in medical treatment.
Medical expenses with age. Technological advances bring a quality of life that elders cannot accept. These advances give people longer lives, but the quality of that life is not always good, Medical cost can be extremely high, and the person maybe helpless. Physical illness, pain or disability can prompt suicide. When the birth rate declines, the number of young people decreases in proportion to the number of old people. A stereotype is a generalized belief that categorizes all elderly people in a favorable light. The most common positive stereotype is “wise”.
Other positive stereotypes are well to do, kind, patient, generous, loving and friendly. We can have a good wealth of knowledge and experience from them. With more elderly people, it creates a more loving and caring society. We need more commitment to strengthening the social bonds of the elders and providing them with resources to develop the intimate ties and friendships they need to enjoy a meaningful life. We can strengthen social bonds through a genuine effort providing help and interaction that elders need. Age often reduces opportunities for social interaction.
The aged are happier if they form intimate friendships with others, Neighbors and social organizations such as the Rotary Club, church and senior centers are important sources of social interaction to the elderly. More attention should be directed to the social bond of elders. It creates a circle of companion for them. Millions of American children receive childcare form their grandparents each day (U. S Bureau of the Census 1990). Parents don’t have to spend money sending their kids to the baby sitters. The grandparents indulge grandchildren, try to be a role model and instill good values to the grandchildren.
The grandparents could be a repository of family wisdom. Retirees may feel both elated and free or devalued and depressed because of changes in routine, personal habits, and opportunities for social interaction, retirement can bring stress even when it is voluntary. The elderly need no to be occupied with some kind of activity. Being babysitters could be a good role they could play. Looking at the negative points of view about the elderly is social security that the elderly possess. With social security, many have been able to survive financially, but many others still have trouble paying for even the basic necessities.
It is the nation’s basic method of providing income to the elderly. Social security is the major source of income for most retirees. It is a component of the household budget. Social insecurity occurs when they have to be dependant on the working adult children. This causes financial burden to the child who is earning a low income. The elderly needs financial assistance, emotional support and physical assistance. Unmarried adult children who share a household with the ailing parent provide the most care. Being married and being employed decreases the amount of help given.
Living apart further reduces the amount of help the elders receive. Adult children most commonly offer help: shopping for food, traveling, doing laundry, preparing meals, doing housework, taking medicine, getting around the house and providing personal, supportive communication. The number of older persons is large and growing larger, and ageism directly affects the older population. Ageism limits the potential development of individuals on the basis of age. Ageism can oppress any age group, young or old. If you’re young, you may have been told that you’re too inexperienced, too immature, to untested.
If you’re elderly, you may have been told that you’re out of date, old-fashioned, behind the times, of no value or importance. When younger, stronger, faster workers with newly acquired knowledge are available, employers tend to replace, rather than retain, the elderly. In reflecting what old people deserve in later life, we must conclude that they deserve a later life, we must conclude that they deserve a fair share of the “good life” – respect, dignity, comfort and resources for experiencing new or continuing pleasures.