Negative Stereotypes Of Late Adulthood

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Late Adulthood Many people in the United States and other industrialized countries are living longer. The life expectancy at birth now is 81 years old. Although this is an important achievement, it is important for social workers to understand the affects that increase longevity have on the individual, family life and social work practice. (https://www.nia.nih.gov). There are many negative stereotypes associated with older adulthood. These negative stereotypes arise from the assumption that late adulthood is considered to be the closing period of life span. Some of the commonly held beliefs about late adulthood include the belief that older adults are less active, do not have goals, are retired and are unable to learn new things. Social workers…show more content…
Although we are more educated now about older adults this has not changed our perception of the elderly. Ageism continues to exist. Ageism is the prejudice or discrimination against an individual based on their age; this is usually experienced by older adults. Negative stereotypes are widely spread and accepted by our society and culture. In the United States older adults are more likely to be discriminated because society encourages older adults to be marginalized, institutionalized and restrained from responsibilities, control, and power. Society needs to go back in history and make significant changes. Before the industrial revolution and development of printing press, older adults played an important role in communities. They were seen by society as teachers filled with wisdom. This continues to be true in many cultures were older adults are held in high regards. (Todd Nelson Pg 208). It is important for social workers to be aware of the effect the negative stereotypes can have on older adults. According to Jocelyn and Patricia (2006) gerontologists have argued strongly that negative and often ageist attitudes may be at the root of the worst problems that can affect older people. Social workers need to develop self-awareness of their own views on aging and how these negative stereotypes can affect their practice. Research shows that…show more content…
We need to do everything in our power to protect their rights and well-being. Offering resources that meet the needs of elderly persons is our responsibility. It is important to not make assumptions when dealing with older adults because they all have different needs and each case is unique. According to Elizabeth the type of support and assistance that elderly persons receive can be categorized as either formal or informal resources. Informal resources are mainly provided by the family. Family members can provide great emotional and social support. Gender roles are very much present when taking care of an older adult. Females tend to provide most of the nurturing and caregiving. Daughter are involved in the housekeeping and household chores. The male is the provider. They are more likely to provide assistance with financial matters and household repairs. However, Social Workers need to be aware that not all family networks are functional and other uniformly available resources and support need to be available. Formal resources are services provided by formal services providers. Some of these formal services include Social Security, hospital insurance trust fund, senior centers, hospice programs, and senior housing. Both formal and informal services are key to the well-being of older
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