It longer have the respect and good





     It would not be possible to explore the varying
of attitudes towards the care of the elderly for every culture or country. I
will focus on two cultures that are noticeably different from Western culture:
Africa and of South/Southeast Asia. The previous are of interest because of the
undergoing economic development. This lets us see the care received by elders
in culturally traditional parts of the world even the changes in that care and
the attitudes associated with the spread of modernization and
industrialization. The greatest attention needs to be given to elder care as
elders no longer have the respect and good care afforded them in traditional
culture but do not yet have admittance to the government-funded and
institutionalized care provided by more developed countries. Many areas in
South and Southeast Asia are still enduring economic development and are discovering
it is a challenge to change from a traditional society where there was family
support and a cultural emphasis on taking care of the elderly to a modern
society that does make this a part of their values. Transformation is taking
place in some countries in this area, the family support systems for elder care
are breaking down and in other countries it is not. “A rapid ageing population
coupled with changes in family structure has brought about profound
implications to social policy in China. Although the past decade has
seen a steady increase in public funding to long-term care (LTC), the narrow
financing base and vast population have
created significant unmet demand, calling for reforms in financing.” (Yang)

     While globalization and the need for
communication add to the feeling that the world is getting smaller and the wisdom
of a unity of culture, is not true. Even inside Western civilizations, there
are misconceptions in the specifics of how the elderly are cared for. Social
policies regarding the care of the elderly vary across the globe. Even within
cultural regions, there can be a large variation. There are still areas in the
world that have a different attitude toward the treatment and care of their
society’s elders.

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globalization and social issues as to how to care for and requirements for the
elderly within society are becoming international issues rather than just local
or national ones. There is an emphasis on governments having the chief
responsibility to indorse, offer, and guarantee the access to basic social
services including the detailed needs of older persons. Also, they need to
include that there is a need to work with local authorities, nongovernment
organizations, volunteers and charitable agencies, the elderly and their
families to help in realizing these goals. Recognizing the rights of all people,
including the elderly, to understand the satisfaction of the highest possible
standard of physical and mental health. We must recognize the importance of
family, helpers, and other groups in providing care for our older people in
addition to the amenities provided by government and the necessity to reinforce
unity among generations to reassure equally approachable relationships.

                                           A Worldwide Problem

     As medical developments continue to
bring about more enhancements for longevity, the quantity of elders not only in
the United States but around the world remains on the rise. According to the
United Nations, there is an upward trend on the road to lower birth and death
rates everywhere in the world. As a result, the amount of elderly people in
cultures and societies is on the rise and is predicted to continue to rise well
into the coming times. According to statistics 205 million people aged sixty
years or older. Over the first half of the worldwide population of people sixty
or older are expected to expand to the billions. Longevity is growing, since
people aged eighty years or older are the fastest growing part of the worldwide
population. The speed of aging is increasing more rapidly in emerging countries
than in advanced countries, which means that even with the other issues of financial
development, these countries will also have to rapidly deal with the problem of
their aging people. “Old age is the closing period of the life span. It is a
period when people ‘move away’ from previous more desirable periods or times of
‘usefulness’. Old age is considered as a curse being associated with
deterioration of all physical, psychological factors, isolation from social,
economic and other activities. Socially, this stage was considered as the total
of one’s lived experiences. Hence, the society offered a space of respect to
the old. In such a society, the aged were the repositories, transmitters, and
sole authorities of wisdom and knowledge. All these provided a ‘golden age’
concept to this stage, old age. Adjustment is a process involving both mental
and behavioral responses by which an individual strives to cope with inner
needs, tensions, frustrations and conflicts and to bring harmony between these
inner demands and those imposed upon him by the world in which he lives if the
conflicts are solved to satisfy the individual needs within the tenets approved
by the society the individual is considered adjusted. Adjustments in old age
are difficult because of the limited capacity of the old, their diminishing
energy and declining mental abilities. The degree of success depends upon the
individual’s adaptability. The world will not adopt itself to the elderly, only
the elderly will have to adopt themselves to the world.” (Panday)

Growing Amounts of the Aging

     Older or elderly what constitutes old age.
Man has decided what age that should be. In the bible people live a lot longer than
we do. Have you heard the saying as old as Methuselah? Most advanced nations have
decided that the consecutive age of sixty-five years is considered elderly. This
is associated with the age that a person can receive social security or pension
benefits. There is not a general agreement on what is to be old. Society has decided
to push out the elderly. They are posing the question as to what should be done
with them and where should they live. “We consider a model with a population consisting of
earners and retired persons; elderly
care is publicly provided. We show how the externalities related to population
mobility lead to an inefficient spatial distribution of earners and retirees,
and we characterize the second-best solution. Decentralization of this solution
in a fiscal federalism structure requires the use of taxes and subsidies
proportional to the number of earners and retired persons living in the city.”

Definition of an Elderly Person

     When you reflect on elder care, you typically
think of it in terms of your own family or state. Questions of greatest concern
frequently center around topics of how to best take care of aging parents or
other family and how to best plan for your own approaching old age and the care
that may or may not be needed at that time. These topics, of course, are not limited
to the United States. Across the world, people grow old and need assistance
from family, friends, the government, or other entities to deal with varying
mental and physical abilities and increasing needs for their wellbeing or other
support to meet the activities of daily living (i.e., getting their dwelling, minor
to major housework, making meals, administering medications in the manner given
by doctor, making calls, taking care of bills). They may need assisted living
care to (take a bath, get dressed, eating, using the bathroom, getting in or
out of bed). The way these questions are responded to and how these issues
resolved regularly differ from country to country, culture to culture. “It is generally
accepted that most care, help and support in old age comes from informal sources.
An image of the family as an available and responsible source of support has gradually
replaced and earlier stereotype of the fragmented modern family in industrial societies
as unavailable and unconcerned with the plight of its older generations.” (Jefferies)

     The greatest complication to the building
of a framework for human solidarity, which caters for every member of the
society especially the elderly, is Western independence. Have you noticed that
the number of elderly begging in our streets has risen? The drop in new birth rates and bump in long life
around the world has made the care of the elderly a worldwide concern. Advanced
countries struggle to take care of the speedily increasing population of older
adults. Though, this problem is compounded in developing countries as growth
and change bring with them major changes in culture and society. Contrary to the
modernization theory, these changes do not essentially result in a sidelining
of older people nor does every society and culture reply in the same way to the
burden between modernization and the care of the elderly. Old-style values continue
in some areas regardless of modernization, and private or government programs
may be put in place to encourage family care of the elderly.

Solidarity Framework Building

     As a young child is was taught the Ten
Commandments. Commandment number five says to “honor thy mother and father.” In
Exodus 20:12 Amplified Bible (AMP), it
states (12 “Honor (respect, obey, care
for) your father and your mother, so that your days may be prolonged in the
land the Lord your God gives you.  In this verse it says to care for, meaning to
care for thy mother and father as a part of honoring them. For generations I
have seen the elderly taken care of by family. It was customary to our family not
to place the elderly in an assisted living facility no matter how hard it was
to care for them by their family members. I witnessed my mother take on this
same feat with my Grandparents. She made sure they were taken care of with no
questions asked. My Grandparents lived to be in their nineties. They were able
to facilitate most of their daily routine by themselves. My grandmother was
still preparing small meals until she passed. My mother would make sure that
medications like eyedrops were administered correctly since they had some
vision problems. She made sure they were seen by their doctors regularly,
picked up prescriptions, did their heavy shopping and made their major meals.
At the point my grandparents thought they had become too much of a burden they
told my mother that it was okay for her to place them in assisted living if
that was what she needed to do to be less of a strain on her even though they
would prefer to remain in their home the remaining part of their life. She
assured them that she would never do such a thing, that they were her parents
and she would make sure to honor and take care of them. As a relief for her my
dad, siblings, our children and myself would take turns caring for my
grandparents. It is also a less know fact that the caregiver becomes a silent
patient because they are exerting so much of their time and energy caring for
the ill. Now that my grandparents are deceased my parents are wondering if we
will care for them or place them in an assisted living facility since we all
work full-time jobs. Well I plan to care for my parents just like my mother
cared for her parents. I may not be at the age that I feel that I will have to
have someone care for me but, I have been told by my son that he can assure and
that I can rest my mind the he will be there to take care of me and that he
will not place me in an assisted living facility. That is one of my worst fears
that I will have to go to what we call a nursing home. I think that is the fear
of most of our elderly. At some point we all must face this fear and the modern
generation must stop tossing the elderly to the side believing that they have
nothing to offer. They do have a wealth of knowledge to offer, they have seen
and endured more that we have.


Becoming Marginalized in Old Age: Our Perception of the Elderly