Social aging can be understood as the changes experienced in persons roles ad relationship in the community as they grow old. Notably, human aging and the understanding of the aging process differ across various traditions and over time. Consequently, it is vital to learn about the patterns of aging so that the elderly can be accommodated in the society. Zastrow's Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare: Empowering People, Twelfth Edition observes todays society under the lens of social problems, and it provides the learners with an extensive overview of the profession.
The most significant part of reading this text is that Zastrow encourages readers to think about modern and realistic methods of finding solutions to the social problems being experienced. This is achieved through the presentation of positive approaches to the understanding of ethics, core values, knowledge and skills designed for todays professional social employee. The book is lauded for being the most detailed and practical writing suitable for all the social workers.
The most exciting thing about this book is that it comprehensively tackles each of the topics that human service and social work majors may experience. Additionally, it is easy to read and sensitive to a strengths perception, motivate learners to approach social issues by reasoning critically and to examine their personal encounters and ideas with the information given. For instance, Zastrow highlights the objective of social welfare by meeting the financial, social, recreational, and health necessities of all persons in the society. Therefore, guided by these perspectives, social welfares should aim at enhancing the social functioning of all age groups whether rich or poor.
The information provided in the book is relevant and helpful. However, there were a few flaws encountered while reading the book that I wish the author could have addressed it in a better way. Zastrows book is for the beginners in the social work program course. Subsequently, since the book deals with social work, a section of the main subjects are social welfare programs and counselling theories. However, the author appears to be conflicted. In the sense that, he mostly emphasizes on personal responsibility and in the other part he supports social welfare programs. These are in most instances termed as opposite positions in political discussions. The author could have taken time to illustrate how these notions can be integrated into a new topic of responsibility and social behaviours.
The topic I would like to discuss is how the society can value and harness aging individuals skills, experience, and knowledge. The reason for selecting this topic of discussion is based on the understanding that our society views older persons as a bundle of service needs and problems. As a consequence, their skills, strengths, and knowledge are not harnessed or recognized by the society which is enamored by the cult of young adults.
Therefore, there is a great need to develop a society where individuals are not afraid or worried about getting old. We should create an atmosphere where there are minimal stereotypes on older persons, more opportunities, and more intergenerational contact where old age is seen as an asset and not a burden. Financial retirement units have an essential role to play by providing financial support to the elderly. In doing so, older adults will not be excluded due to the lack enough money.
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