Understanding gerontology

Subject: Sociology
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 1
Word count: 373
Topics: Social Studies, Ageism, Social Issues, Socialization

The US population is increasingly aging, and there are looming social/emotional needs that require proper healthcare programming. This aging population requires improved healthcare programs to cater for their varied needs such as social and economic as well as the quality of life (Knickman & Snell, 2002). The healthcare delivery system and the general society needs to provide optimum support to these older persons.

The increasingly aging US population has posed a myriad of challenges to the healthcare programming or the US health system as a whole. There has been increased cost of medical care for the elderly as both the Medicare and Medicaid have gone up. Also, they need supportive care needs to assist them in daily life-skills. The elderly population is not economically productive, and that is also a challenge. The good thing is that there is improved health care for the elderly. These healthcare services have intimately focused on providing social services and economic support in the areas of nutrition, housing, and institutional care (Knickman & Snell, 2002). In general, healthcare programming has been effective in providing both preventive and rehabilitative services to this sensitive population and thus taking care of their social/emotional needs. Also, advances in medicine can be attributed to taking care of their long-term needs.

There are some theoretical perspectives on aging. Social theory, for example, defines how the various social interactions can influence a person aging (Bowen & Atwood, 2004).The theory tries to explain how some people age well. Disengagement theory is one of the social theories that look at how individuals withdraw from social interactions because of age. That applies to social categorization as it limits their social engagements. The other social theory is the Activity Theory that looks at the need of remaining active into older age (Bowen & Atwood, 2004). It is perceived that people will transit into older age but remain active. However, depending on someone’s social interactions, the level of being active will vary. That will consequently influence their levels of physical activity and social interactions.

In conclusion, it is important for the societal members as well as the healthcare systems to understand the needs of the elderly and channel all the resources at their disposal to cater for the same.

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  1. Bowen, R. L. & Atwood, C.S. (2004). Living and Dying for Sex. Gerontology. 50 (5): 265–90. Doi: 10.1159/000079125
  2. Knickman, J.R., & Snell, E.K. (2002).The 2030 Problem: Caring for Aging Baby Boomers. Health Services Research, 37(4): 849–884.
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