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Lecture 18

Lecture 18 Ageism Part 2.docx

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Social Work
Sandra Preston

1 Social Work 1A06: Introduction to Social Work February 11 2013 Lecture 18: Ageism Con’t Note: - Have to observe gender for the next set of tutorials o On ave under News - Take Home Midterm is online o Same deal as last take home To start: Clip from the movie UP - How they met when they were young o The adventure book – dreams about travelling around the world - Montage o Falling in love, getting married, moving in, finding out they can’t have babies, getting older together, Ellie dies - Point of showing this clip o What we forget when we look at older people – they are older people but they were 5, 10, 20, 35  All those people are still in there  They have skills and talents and knowledge about the world o People are not just who they are now  See Carl and Ellie at 8-80s o Understand the complexities of people rather than seeing them as a stereotype (old person) Finishing Lect from Last Week: Ageism and Oppression Social Support - While seniors do receive this support, they also provide an enormous amount to each other o Relatives, friends, neighbours  Supporting their kids by helping with the grandkids etc - 84% of seniors received social support from friends, fams and neighbours - 60% were providing support to others, including community o Almost ¼ of seniors volunteer in an official capacity o Spend 44% more time than volunteers aged 25-44 o In 1992, it was estimated that seniors contributed unpaid help worth $5.5 billion - 10% of seniors get support from public home care services o Not the perception we have  Perception is – most seniors have this - NOT a drain on society 2 Older people as a Power Block - Turning them into a huge anonymous, homogenous group o With positive and negative stereotypes - Truth: Baby Boomers o More likely to vote, but tend to vote the way they have through out their lives  Are not a voting BLOCK  If they were liberal when they were 30, they are probs still liberal now o Market share – while baby boomers have always been a marketing force, they are not the target market  Teenagers are o Wealth  Most often shared with fams o Baby boomers are on the whole healthier and more politically aware in a general sense  Staying active as they get older  Gyms are catering to them now  More aware of politics, the importance of voting - Contradictory o This huge cohort is going to have an impact because they are so big, but not as big an impact as people think  Because they are not homogenous – not all working for the same thing - NOT a threat Identity and Self-Esteem - Youth focused culture o In advertising to older (and younger) people – choose the best, youngest looking people  “This is what 40 looks like”  Nope!  Well there is a nod that aging happens to everyone, there is still pressure to look the best to fit expectations o Most people are not excited to hurry up and get eldery - Stereotypical expectations o Interdependence vs. independence  People see loss of independence (as you age) as loss of enjoyable life  But it’s not! Seems that way because of our indep focused cult  Focus on interdependence makes more sense  Everyone aiding one another o This is true can be seen above, seniors are contributing all the time o They need help sometimes, but they also help others  Not a drain 3  One of the markers of independence – therefore vitality and life  Youth o Used to be gendered to ladies  Now men are expected to age well too - Different depending on gender o Mostly ladies are expected to age well  But men are also being expected to do this now - Life Transitions o From wife – widow o From home – nursing home o Loss  Not dealt with well in our soc Freedom - Families will restrict the activities of their elderly relatives o Don’t do that, you’re too old! o When did that become someone else’s choice? o Children infantalizing their parents  You don’t know whats best for you, I (child) do  Comes from stereotypes o Same way families restrict activities of children  You can’t do that, you’re too little! - Stereotypes make it difficult to live as you wish o “act your age” - Disability issues may restrict many freedoms o Loss of independence, mobility and/or capacities due to aging Class Discussion - Do you think your grandparents and their peers are sexually active? o Class response (EW) shows that society wishes people older than 65 would just quit sex.  Our society very uncomfortable with sexuality, especially in older people - But older people are doing it o One of the fastest growing groups for HIV infection is people older than 55 o People are still going to be sexual, don’t even need a partner - If you want to be in social work, you have to be able to listen to people discussing their sex lives without freaking out Access to resources - Stereotypes o POS stereotype: Older people have so much money they don’t need our help o Or 4 o NEG stereotype: They need so much help we can’t possibly - Older people seen as a burden, kids as an investment o Older people – waste of resources  Drain rather than capable of giving back Access to Power - Here is where oppression comes into play - Very dependent on other aspects of the person o Class, race, edu, gender  Due to these and power, older years can be very comfortable or not  Particularly in reference to class - Positive stereotypes say we need to be afraid of the power of the elderly - Negative stereotypes say that they are not capable of wielding power o Need to protect them Oppression, an Aging Population and Social Policy - Stereotypes lead to poor practice and policy o Social justice: need to address these things o E.g. Rising costs of hospital care  How can we make decisions about how we are going to deal with this? Is this all about our aging population, or not? We assume it is, but we may not look at it carefully - Negative stereotypes lead to assumptions that the older population will be a drain on our society. - Positive stereotypes lead to assumptions that the older population will be an overwhelming social force. Income - Positive stereotype o Assume that the amount that older people (65+) get better income supplements than other people (-65)  Not true - Income is an issue as you age - Public programs o Canada pension plan o Old age security  If you make under a certain amount you will receive OAS o Guaranteed income supplement  If OAS doesn’t breing you to a reasonable income - Private o Work based pensions 5 o Registered retirement savings plans o Employment (6%)  Many older people are continuing to work What % of older people live in their own homes? - 93% o Average age of people in nursing homes is over 80, but as we are living longer there are more people who live over the age of 80  See Sunday at 105 – extra content Housing - There will be an increase in the need for supportive housing and long term care - However, 93% of seniors live in their own homes - 2/3 own their own homes - Those seniors who rent tend to pay a larger % of their income than younger renters o Use a large amount of their income for their rent Generally - Joint discrimination comes from differences in ability and aging o How to deal without looking as prejudiced o Understand that older people are contributors to society – not a drain - There will be a need for better support as more people age Lecture 2 on Ageism: Older Persons and Healthcare Home Care - Support to help older people stay in their own homes o Many of these needs are helped by their families  E.g. shovelling snow  If you can’t shovel your walk and you have mobility issues – how can you get out of your house? o May be doing 40 hours of volunteer work, but you c
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