Ageism and the Elderly
(The Correlation between Ageism and Elder Abuse)
July 17, 2010
University of Phoenix Axia College
The fastest growing age group in the United States is the elderly. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, in 1980, there were 25.7 million older persons; by 1990 the amount of older Americans had reached 31.2 million. In 2000, 35 million of the United States population was over 65 years of age, and by 2030 the figure is expected to reach 71.5 million older Americans. “Demographically, the coming generation of elderly Americans- the baby boomers- were themselves the pioneers in the great changes that have transformed family life over the past several decades, and their ageing is one of the most anticipated demographic events of this century” (Population Reference Bureau, 2010). With the continued advancement in medicine Americans are living longer. And, it appears that “while the number of Americans without medical insurance is high, the number without any insurance against the cost of long term care is far greater (Population Reference Bureau, 2010).”
Ageism is a social attitude. Ageism is also part of attitudes where people believe that older adults can be treated in demeaning ways. Ageism occur for many different reasons and even though older adults contributed to significant past and current contributions to family, community and the society as a whole society tend to have an economically focused perspective and the elderly is perceived as one that has outlived their usefulness to the economy. There are many examples of ageism. Policies and programs failing to allow older adults on boards and committees because they feel they wouldn’t understand is a common form of ageism. Doctors who refuse to see older patients because they take more time is a form of ageism. And, most common form of ageism is with Adult Children of Elderly Americans. The way adult...