Ageism In Social Work

1816 Words8 Pages
Humans are social creatures, we have a desire to belong, and a need to connect with others and feel that we are part of a group. With older people there is often the feeling that there is some kind of disconnect between them and wider society. We encourage them to retire at 65 so that the younger population can move into the workforce(Jönson,2012), and then these retirees are directed to go on cruises designed just for seniors or to move down to a retirement community in California. We segregate our elders to seniors activity centres which we cheerfully tell them will be fun because they will be with other old people, and when they are no longer able to age in place(Wiles et al.2012) we package up a small amount of their belongings and place…show more content…
Butler further expanded his definition of ageism to mean "a deep seated uneasiness on the part of the young and middle-aged—a personal revulsion to and distaste for growing old, disease, disability, and fear of powerlessness, 'uselessness,' and death.” (qtd in Nolan, 2011) This phenomenon is “especially relevant for social work because it crosses all racial, gender, ethnic, sexual orientation, and religious categories” (Allen et al.2009) and so can be applied across all demographics within the category of older…show more content…
2015) and so the actual incidences may have been much higher. Another form of elder abuse is elder neglect. This form may be more pervasive due to the fact that elders can be neglected without other family members,neighbours or community members being aware. Elders can be neglected in the more well known forms of not receiving their scheduled bath or medication by a family member or caregiver but they can also be neglected by medical health professionals; those which took an oath to do no harm. This neglect can be measured by the elders voice not being heard, by the health professional making assumptions based on what they believe the elder wants and needs and also due to the fact that, as found within studies, many younger health professionals have agesist beliefs that prevent them from working with the aging population in the first place as they have reported “older adults to be too depressing”.(Chonody & Wang,2014) An elders voice not being heard speaks to the belief that older people have the characteristics of helplessness, vulnerability and frailty and are therefore “in need of protection” (Harbison et al.2012), this so called protection we give our elders does not help, but rather
Open Document