Social Welfare Policy Among the Aged


Introduction

Ageism is prejudice or discrimination against groups or individuals based on their age. It is manifested through discriminatory behavior, stereotypes, or negative attitudes. This factor primarily impacts the elderly segment in society; however, the young may also face discrimination because they are perceived as naïve. Elderly adults face ableism since they are perceived as less productive; therefore, society gives them minimum attention and less care, leading to isolation. Some societal practices that depict ageism include hiring and promotion based on age, mandatory retirement, and negative jokes or behavior toward the aged. Social workers perceive ageism as a critical social problem because it leads to social isolation and exclusion and impacts adverse health outcomes for the victims. Therefore, if left unchecked, it can distort societal welfare. Various social welfare policies and programs have thus been developed to thwart the issues of ageism in society.

Social welfare policies

Social assistance. This welfare policy aims to provide minimum income protection for the excluded and poor individuals. For instance, aged individuals are mostly a non-working segment of society and thus vulnerable to financial constraints. Therefore, social security is the primary source of hope for these individuals. This has been achieved through social assistance, a universal social welfare policy. As Smith et al. (2020) claim, social isolation was a significant public health issue that, despite helping compare the spread of the Coronavirus, posed a danger to older adults during the pandemic. For example, social assistance in the United Kingdom was implemented through vouchers and food assistance (Gentilini et al., 2022). For example, two hundred and twenty euros were channeled towards local authorities to coordinate free holiday provision, which included enriching activities and healthy food (Gentilini et al., 2022).

Social insurance. This form of social security caters to the disadvantaged, such as the unemployed, sick, or marginalized segment. During the pandemic, such segments became common, with the most disadvantaged category being the unemployed older adults. In Bolivia, for example, they provided paid leave for older adults. Additionally, among most nations worldwide, several agencies came up to cater to older adults through pensions, unemployment benefits, and health insurance. Such agencies and programs include the Association of Retired Persons and Pensioners (APRe!), Help Age International stands out, and many more (Sánchez-Izquierdo et al., 2022). Moreover, the New York Long Term Care Community is another program dedicated to thwarting abuse and neglect of elderly individuals by improving nursing care homes (Sánchez-Izquierdo et al., 2022).

Model

Therefore, the above social policies are significant and should be used in contemporary society. However, in analyzing the policies, I would employ specific models. The appropriate model is the social impact model; this model identifies and examines the social impacts a policy exerts. For example, it assesses how social policy ensures sustainable development parameters such as social cohesion, equality, and inclusion.

Assistance types

There are various social welfare assistance types available in combating ageism. For instance, providing food aid is one typical assistance type. The elderly may be unable to afford basic needs such as food due to the inability to work and financial constraints. Thus, as a social worker, providing food aid is essential. Additionally, healthcare and counseling services are vital for the elderly. Social work practitioners and counseling psychologists should provide quality care and counseling to the elderly. Moreover, providing adequate pensions and financial aid is another assistance for aged individuals. This will be significant since most of them are no longer working. Also, during crisis moments, like the previous crisis of the COVID pandemic, these individuals are not posed with the danger of financial difficulties.

Public and private providers

One public provider of social relief for aged individuals includes the Long-Term Care Community Coalition in New York. This organization ensures that elderly adults are not abused or their rights neglected while in a nursing home setting. Therefore, it ensures that quality food, health, shelter, and care are provided to the aged individuals. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality, justice, and dignity among the elderly in society. Moreover, Visiting Angels senior home care is a private provider of social relief targeting elderly individuals. The organization was founded in 1998 and encompasses professionals who proudly assist the elderly in living comfortably, safely, and independently.

References

Discover the Best In-Home Care. (2023). Retrieved 4 May 2023, from https://www.visitingangels.com/

Gentilini, U., Almenfi, M. B. A., Iyengar, T. M. M., Okamura, Y., Downes, J. A., Dale, P., … & Aziz, S. (2022). Social protection and jobs responses to COVID-19.

Sánchez-Izquierdo, M., García-Sánchez, R., & Fernández-Ballesteros, R. (2022). Anti-Ageism Social Actions: Lights and Shadows. Land11(2), 195.

Smith, M. L., Steinman, L. E., & Casey, E. A. (2020). Combatting social isolation among older adults in a time of physical distancing: the COVID-19 social connectivity paradox. Frontiers in public health, p. 403.

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