Aging Individuals’ Challenges and Misconceptions
Today, more people are living longer due to improved health care systems and living conditions. Even though being able to reach the age of 65 years and above is something to be grateful for, the elderly face numerous obstacles. The paper analyzes the emotional, financial, mental, and physical obstacles of aging, who should take care of them, and some of the misconceptions surrounding the elderly.
Emotional, Financial, Mental, and Physical Obstacles of Aging
An emotional challenge that is most common among this group of people is insomnia. According to research, challenges in staying or falling asleep can cause insomnia, which mostly impacts adults at a greater rate compared to other age groups (National Center on Elder Abuse, 2017). Among seniors, heightened stress and anxiety levels are generally what lead to unusual changes in behavior or sleep. The other obstacle that the elderly face is financial problems. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (2017), most elderly people may be unable to manage their finances or may witness unusual alterations in their bank accounts.
For this reason, most seniors are unable to pay their bills. The elderly are further faced with mental issues as a result of their advanced age. Research states that out of four older adults, one must have mental issues such as dementia, anxiety, or depression (Levy et al., 2018). Additionally, as individuals age, their bone structures become weak, and, as a result, they start experiencing physical problems related to movement.
Those Who Should be Responsible for Caring for the Elderly
Both the government and family members should be responsible for taking care of the elderly. When these individuals were able to work, they contributed to the development of the government and the country. In addition, the government, through numerous bodies, has both the funding and the necessary expertise to take care of the elderly. Therefore, they should be able to provide support, especially to senior individuals, without other people caring for them. Similarly, families should bear the responsibility of caring for the elderly (Gorman, 2017). While growing up, an individual’s parents or caregivers were able to provide and care for them. Therefore, it is only logical that grown-up children have an innate commitment to their parents to provide care and protection.
A Case of Elder Abuse in My Job
In my job, I have seen a case of elderly abuse that was related to their financial situation. The individual, in this case, was financially stable since one could see from how he dressed and the car he drove. He had children who were mature enough to take care of him. Rather than doing so, they mostly asked for financial support from him. After a while, the person started dressing differently and eventually stopped using his car because they were too expensive. The children did not do anything to help him and instead continued demanding financial support. This elderly person started developing signs of depression and began isolating himself from other people.
Initial Perceptions of Aging
I used to believe that loneliness and depression were normal in aging individuals. From my perception, aging individuals did not need company as they were able to take care of themselves. From this exercise, I have learned that as people age, they may find themselves alone and isolated. As a result, these individuals develop feelings of sadness, anxiety, and depression. However, I am now of the opinion that these are not normal feelings when it comes to the elderly. I think that aging can present an opportunity to live a long and fulfilling life when people have family and friends around them.
There are numerous challenges of aging, and these include emotional, financial, mental, and physical. These prevent them from performing tasks that they initially did while at a younger age. Due to the numerous misconceptions about the elderly, they experience loneliness and depression. By addressing these challenges and providing a friendly and supportive environment to these individuals, they are able to live longer and healthier lives.
Gorman, M. (2017). Development and the rights of older people. The Ageing and Development Report, 3-21. Web.
Levy, B. R., Slade, M. D., Chang, E., Kannoth, S., & Wang, S. (2018). Ageism amplifies cost and prevalence of health conditions. The Gerontologist, 60(1), 174-181. Web.
National Center on Elder Abuse. (2017). Red Flags of Abuse. NCEA. Web.