Being elderly is an open status because people are elderly for only part of their lives. The elderly that are at the highest risk of being poor or disadvantaged fall into categories of people who are at highest risk of being poor throughout the life course, those that fall below the poverty level during their lifetime. (Sociology, 13th Edition). The elderly that fall below the poverty level are more likely to need elder income support to ruinations into old age with grace.
This paper will discuss how historical values of have influenced the extent to which America has treated elder income support as a social problem and the social policies, such as designed to address elder income support. It will also address how social work’s social justice mission and what sort of social policy approach is needed to address this social problem. Jackie, nicely written but add specifics so that the reader knows what will be covered Historical Value Good application of historical values with Jimenez as evidence!
Jimenez states hat, ‘fundamentalism and its corollary, independence, are core American values,” (Jimenez 2010 p. 49). Jimenez refers to ideologies that most Americans believe, that independence is far superior to dependence as a way of living one’s life. If this be the case, how do one assure the ability to live independently in old age? The achievement ideology is that if you work hard and get a good education you will achieve the “American Dream” tends to lend credibility to that those who are elderly and living in poverty did not work hard nor did they get a good education. Individuals’ employed or self- employed pay 6. Recent of their income to the federal government and 1. 4% for medical insurance. This money is placed in an account so that social security is available when one reach retirement age. This amount can range from $575. 00 per month to as high as $2,045 depending on the number of years worked and the amount paid into the system. (ASS). When placed in this perspective, an individual working fifty years for a company and receiving minimum wage, when reaching retirement age, their retirement income will be far less than an individual working for a company and receiving far above the minimum wage.
The 201 2 United States Department of Commerce Economic and Statistical Data, United States Census Bureau statistical data indicate that there were 46. 2 million people in poverty in the united States. In 201 1, 7. 2 percent of workers aged 18-64 were in poverty. This rate has not significantly changed since 2010. (US Census Bureau 2012). Of this amount, 7. 2 percent of workers aged 18-64 who work and are in poverty, the “American Dream” seems to lack credibility. According to the Administration on Aging, the number of individuals sixty-five years of age reached 43. 1 million in 2012 an increase of 7. Lion or 21% since 2002. This number is projected to continue to increase over the next twenty-eight years to over 60%. The population of older old adults is also increasing as the number of those eighty-five and older will grow dramatically over the next fifty years. (US Census Bureau 2012) Social Problem The desire to retain ones individualism does not dimming sis east one reaches old age. The ideology of individualism that began in in the American Revolution has not waned; if anything, this belief in the importance of individual rights and responsibilities has grown over the centuries. Jimenez p. 8). Societal views regarding the aged tend to fluctuate. According to the United States Census Bureau 2012 report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance in the united Sates, elderly single women have different income outcomes than elderly single men. You could have provided the data… Elderly single men’s Outcome is different from elderly married men. Elderly African American’s men and women’s income is much different than elderly Caucasian single men and women. (US Census Bureau 2012).
Society’s cultural norms and patterns perpetuate implicit and explicit values that bind institutions and individuals. (Adams et. Al. P. 28). The achievement ideology expressed in Jimenez 201 0 of the “American Dream” is an example of the value that America places on work ethics. Examples of these cultural norms or beliefs that influence the perspective of individuals and institutions is the belief that anyone can achieve economic stability in the United States if they are willing to work hard and take personal responsibility for their own achievement. Adams et. Al. P. 28). Whether you achieve the “American Dream” or not, if you work hard or not, you should be afforded the opportunity to transition onto old age with dignity and grace. Social conflict theory cite emerges as the elderly are subjected to ageism and sometimes forced to disengage from previous roles and take on roles more appropriate for their age. What about race & gender discrimination and their effect on retirement funds? Is it the responsibility of society to dictate which role is appropriate for the elderly?
Adams report that the elderly are often subjected to layoffs and may struggle to find employment due to stereotypes about elders even though they are fully capable of meeting the expectations of employment. (Adams et- al. P. 535). Advancing age does not always mean certain impairment or mental disable¶y’. Some research reports improved math and verbal skills. Social policy Approach The National Center for Gerontology Social Work Education suggests, “An alternative approach, consistent with social work’s social justice perspective. (Spring 2006). If we as social workers analyze the policies in place to see if these policies create economic stability for the aging, we as social workers can investigate programs and institutions in place to assure that these policies are instituted. We can also review gaps in existing polios that negatively affect he elderly. If we continue to review support services for the elderly, the availability and sufficiency of these services, we can help assure that the elderly experience a better quality of life as they transition into old age.
Social culture theory cite definition source informs social work practice and advance human rights and social and economic justice by advocating on behalf of the elderly and by assuring that the services provided are based on the clients’ needs Social workers must first understand the issues related to aging by understanding the needs of this growing segment of society. There are millions of individuals who are able to work long after retirement age. The Administration on Aging discussed that in 1965 after a response to concerned policymakers about a lack of services for elderly people, the Older American’s Act was passed by Congress. AAA). Yea! These are the kinds of polices that social workers should continue to advocate for to assure the elderly are able to age with grace and dignity. Policies to assure that funding for programs in place, as well as ensure social security benefits are solvent is also important. By 2050, there will be more elderly in the United States than the entire population in 1900. Sociology 13th Edition). In 2014, over 59 million Americans will receive social security benefits; and, among them are 39 million retired workers, nine million survivors and dependents, and 11 million disabled workers and dependents.
Social workers have the responsibility of reviewing reports and proposing gushing policies that would improve benefits that could strengthen social security for vulnerable groups and programs such as the Older American’s Act that protect elder American’s from discrimination in the workplace assisting older Americans who wish to work long after retirement age. These actions may help reduce the vulnerability Of this population and help the elderly to age with dignity and grace. There are many more services that social workers can utilize to assist the elderly in their desire to remain in the workforce such as the Ticket to Work Program.
The Congressional Research Service published article on this program, states that HTTP is designed to help individuals’ age 18 through 64 who wish to work and still receive health care and cash benefits from social security and available options. (CRY 2013). Some evidence about its effectiveness would have helped Social workers can work to increase the availability options to include older individuals aged 65-80 who desire to work past retirement age and still receive health care and cash benefits from social security.