Aging in Place and Social Supports

Aging in Place and Social Supports


In almost all cultures across the globe, offering care to the elderly is a primary responsibility that falls on the shoulders of their respective family members. For this reason, it is common to see more than three generations living in the same household. Due to the increasing need for successful ageing, the concept of “aging in place” has been at the center of discussion among policymakers and healthcare providers. Barrio (2014) described ageing in place as the process where the elderly live in a residence of choice, for the long as they are able until they edge. On the importance of successful ageing, it is imperative for us, as their children, to provide adequate care to ensure they age in place. Using case studies highlighted in Vesperi (1985) City of Green Benches; this paper will define the term recognition and investigate its relevance, among other important ageing issues highlighted in the study.


Recognition and its Importance

Recognition plays a crucial role in the ageing process. On the significance of ageing in place, Vesperi (1985) defines recognition by stating, “Our immediate reaction to an old picture is that of recognition-the acknowledgement of one’s self and is often followed by a dethatched amusement.” A basic idea that can be derived from this statement is that ageing deprives robs recognition from individuals. Seniors do not have the ability to lead active and independent lives; they do not have the necessary coping skills needed to adjust to the changes in their lives at they continue to age.

St. Petersburg case study serves the best example that provides the relevance of recognition in ageing in place. From the case study, it is easily acknowledged that as elderly in the facility display their old images, they can gain recognition of self (Foos & Clark, 2003). From this case study, recognition is of great importance since it reduces the stigma that comes with ageing. In their research, Chasteen and Cary (2015) confirmed the possibility of stigmatization in instances of hostile ageism that mainly comes from stereotypes. As established from the finding of St Petersburg Case study, the recognition enhanced by the display of old photos reduces stigma among the elderly.

The Elderly and Old Photographs

The point of displaying old photos for the elderly was to improve self-awareness. Vesperi (1985) states that “if a photo arose the feeling of regret and sadness-and most did-it was the regret of the lost image of oneself but for the context within which the image existed. On this view, there is the need to not that the memories derived from old photographs are effective in confirming social and physical presence through shared experiences. As argued by Barrio (2014) ageing is characterized by a gradual change of social roles, goals and their achievment, which are a reflection of personal development. While in his theory of psychosocial development, Erik Erickson (1982) suggested that personal development continues all through all the stages of life, self-awareness declines at the old age. Display of old photographs serves a significant role since it improves the sense of awareness, an important aspect of ageing in place.

What it Takes to Gain Recognition in St. Pete

In his article, Peace, Holland and Kellaher (2011) established the importance of an individual's environment system in the improvement of the quality of later life. This study determined that competent elderly was less dependent on the environment circumstances using the environmental docility hypothesis. The study further illustrated that environmental pro-activity such as adaptation is useful in reinforcing autonomy as well as productivity (Foos & Clark, 2003). Despite the fact that the theoretical development focused on a microenvironment of accommodation; it is also effective at the macro-environment.

For the elderly to gain recognition the elderly need to collaborate with caregivers and evade rigidity at St Petersburg. Peace, Holland and Kellaher (2011) study provides the rationale for caregiving institutions such as St. Petersburg. There is the need to use a past subjective experience to predict an individual's past as well as future identity when assessing the interpretive model when studying behaviors among the elderly. In their article, Vesperi (1985) stated the strict adherence to the development model would oblige one to assume that the personality of an adult is formed fully, and relatively impervious to change. In line with this view, it takes the collaboration between the caregivers and elderly to successfully age.

Contrast and Comparison of how Recognition Affects Whites vs. Blacks

In the case study, Vesperi (1985) examined how recognition affected the White and Black participants. While both the White and Black elderly individuals at ST. Petersburg has similar care needs, they are different in almost all aspects.

Economic Status

Economic status for white and black seniors varied significantly. White seniors at ST Petersburg are mainly poor, jobless, and bitter about their conditions. The author argues that most of these individuals came from a middle-class background. Due to the extravagance of their retirement money, they have a poor social status. On the other hand, Blacks tend to have a better economic standing since they come from unbroken social history with grandchildren, who tend to provide finacial support.

Social Status

Social states between the White and Black senior had a significant variation. Most seniors at St. Petersburg enjoyed the freedom and extended support from caregivers. The elderly population was a repetition of high achievement of social stratification. On the other hand, the black suffered from marginalization and low levels of recognition in the society. In his article, Vesperi (1985) stated, "Memories of systematic degradation and abuse hovered at the forefront of consciousness" was among the black resident. Physical and verbal threats spoken by informants made elderly black residents shun from public places.

The Challenges for Maintaining Identity and Personality in Older Age

Advancement of age comes with a broad range of challenges. These challenges revolve around maintaining personality as well as identity among the elderly. As established in Vesperi (1985) case study, "the greatest challenge at St. Petersburg low-income seniors have been the increasing need for adapting to the racially mixed social situations." Since both the black and white elderly are the co-recipients of a broad range of social services, it is important for them to take part in equal social programs. The social transformation between the whites and the black has become an issue of serious concern in the delivery of care. The primary role of ageing in place and social support programs such as the St. Petersburg should be to enable the fitting of life events into views that provide a sense of self and change of individual's view of self to live events while considering the social transformation of the two races.





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