The process of aging comes with numerous challenges. In the United States, elders are presented with unending challenges because of the swiftly morphing economic and social climate in this latest century. American elders often pass through such challenges as issues of living situation, health, mental health, poverty, and ageism (Kielty, 2010). The elders have to be helped to age gracefully and peacefully through some measures.
One of the ways of helping the elderly is the promotion of regulation of emotions among the elderly. Elders feel a sense of satisfaction in their lives and reconcile with death. Research has suggested that a central concept of elders mental health is the capacity to put ones life into perspective. The ability to create meaning out of life leads to satisfaction or contentment, emotional regulation, self-acceptance, a sense of purpose and congruence.
Another way of helping the elderly is the promotion of positive perception of self among the elderly. Mindfulness training could help elders to recognize or notice when they experience societal, automatic feelings that regard to aging and negative thoughts. In that case, the elderly would then benefit from skills that are learned through training of mindfulness to release those preconceptions. In addition to that, the traditions of meditation bring a balance to awareness with non-judgment and self-acceptance promotion. The practices leading to acceptance promotion have the potential of reducing the propensity of elders to stigmatize themselves. As people age, disengagement from the goals that are unrealistic has been discovered to result in a high ability to regulate negative emotions. What can also be conceptualized as the realities of aging acceptance? Research has suggested older people can be trained on the skills adaptation to aging challenges.
On the level of competence, it will be essential to ensure that we recognize the central geriatric ability of social work, develop an approach of learning that is based on competence, access knowledge that will be important for contemporary practice and create a self-assessment strategy for individual growth in the competence of social work in aging. On the same footing, we will also strive to instill the important ethics and values in dealing with the elderly. For the elderly, ethics involves how they wish to be handled, treated and given a chance to make their own decisions. Some of the common ethical issues that we will strive to deal with include; conflicts of interests which may be; actual, potential, future or perceived, confidentiality and the capacity of decision making. The elderly living in nursing and residential homes have specific spiritual needs which are unrecognized more often than not. Therefore, we will provide the elderly with the opportunity to have ample peaceful time, listening and presence.
The practice of providing care for the elderly comes with some challenges. The main one is underpayment, or lack of payment leads to lack of motivation. Therefore, caregivers in such circumstances are more likely to experience loss work productivity, miss out on important or valued activities and experience physical, emotional and financial difficulties.
Kielty Turner., (2010) The Promotion of Successful Aging through Mindfulness Skills Training. University of Pennsylvania.
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