Introduction because there has been an improvement in public

Introduction

The Later
Life

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The life
expectancy of the older adults in the generation has increased from 65 years to
83.5 years, for males, and 85.9 years for females.i
 The reason there has been an increase in
the life expectancy is because there has been an improvement in public health,
nutrition and medicine.ii
Since we are in a day and age where people in the Future may live till 100, we
need to start improving the quality of life for the elder individuals. There
have been a few issues and concerns throughout the UK; problems such as; the
stereotypical influences of aging, Mental health and wellbeing of elderly
individuals, the employments, the quality of their household, maintaining
independents and the impacts of the quality of their lifestyle. 

 

1       
 Age Discrimination   

 

1.1       The
Opinions on Growing Old

1.1.1  The
Negative Views

The thought of growing old is usually thought
as negative. People say that youth ends at 35 years old and old age begins at
59.iii The
view people usually have is the worry of getting older and having perceived
inequalities between generations.iv The
Negative views of growing old have been advertised and brought out by the
media, which we cannot control. The older adults, however, are seen as wiser,
experienced and more moral- nonetheless, they may have a nice personality
however they cannot voice out or have a say because of their age;v vi this is
an example of Ageism.

 

Elder’s also, cannot do much because of their
age and are judged because of their age- it isn’t fair for that generation.

 

1.2       
The Stereotypical Influences

There have been many stereotypes for older
people created and made by the media- those stereotypes include, being deaf,
not being able to understand, not being able to cope or do anything and many
more. Some of the elder people listen to those stereotypes and become lazy to
better themselves; they tend to not engage with their diets, not harming the
body by drinking and smoking and not being physically fit. A study has found
out that individuals who looked at their later lives more positively lived 7.5
years longer compared to those who thought of it as a negative experience.vii

Older adults, who also listen to those
stereotypes, lead them to perform tasks to a low quality and perform less challenging
tasks. These stereotypes also reduce the motivation for the elders. viii

Stereotyping also could lead them to feel
self-conscious which could lead to depression which is bad for their mental
health.

 

Figure
One. This is a word cloud that shows what the media portray
about growing old; as you can see, there is nothing positive about growing
older. The cloud uses the size of words to tell us what words appear more in
the media.

 

1.3       
Proposal for Action

Many elders feel discouraged because of their
age and feel as if they cannot do anything because of the age limits in
activities and stereotypes given to them.ix To
improve this and let people not fear as much about growing older, we, as a
country, should promote old age as a positive stage in life; we should promote the
advantages of being old, to make people not fear the old age and to enjoy it.

We should also teach children from a young
age on how to properly communicate and socialise with the elders- the
stereotype ‘not being able to hear’ and ‘being too weak’ and ‘not
understanding’ can hurt the emotional well-being of the adult; so, if children
at a young age know how to properly approach and respect an elder, the other
younger generations will learn from them and this etiquette would be able to
stay with them till they’re old.  Also,
anyone who works in health and social care should be aware of how negative
ideas and perceptions could influence the mental and physical health of the
elders and not to diagnose it with an illness. They should also be aware with how
they communicate; this may influence the mental and physical health and it may
also create a psychological barrier.

 

2       
The Social, Economic and Environmental
Impacts

 

2.1       Mental
Health and Wellbeing

2.1.1  Social
Isolation

One of the main keys to poor mental and
physical health is social isolation; It has been said that, one million older
people in England are reported to not speak to anyone over a month.x Social
isolation causes, loneliness, anxiety, stress and depression; social isolation
is also a driver for cognitive decline; such as, dementia and control.xi xii

 

It has also been said that older people with
no social interaction have a 50% chance of mortality compared to those who are
socially connected.xiii

 

2.1.2  Proposal
for Action

If the older generation are socially
connected, this can decrease the chances of experiencing cognitive
declines/impairments; this could also influence the levels of physical
activity, healthy diets and more positive health behaviours. To allow the
Elders to have a social life, as a society, we should start a community for
elders- a place where elders could meet new people and get to know them. The
charity, Age UK have already started a community and have volunteers to talk
and socialise with the elders to allow them to be socially connected- Age UK
also does a variety of other events and activities so that the quality of life
would be nice for the older generation.xiv

 

2.2       Employment

2.2.1  Unemployment/Retirement
Impacts

Unemployment has a massive impact on our
later lives. The loss of employment could lead to depression or increase the
usage and consumption of tobacco and alcohol;xv xvi it can
also lead to psychosocial stress and poor mental health in the future. If
there’s a damage to health, this increases the risk of mortality. xvii

 

Unemployment could also ruin the living
standards in the future. The comfort elders would need wouldn’t be available
because they haven’t gained any more money for the future.

 

People who have been unemployed or haven’t
been employed at all will get a lower income and the poverty would increase;xviii this
would mean that, in the future, the more children born into poverty would increase
and the harmful motives to increase such as, poor housing conditions, debt and
social isolation.

 

Poor quality of work and unemployment could
be the cause of suicide and early mortality, such as cardiovascular disease.xix

Unemployment and retirement causes adults and
the elders to become unfit- they wouldn’t have anywhere to go, so they would
say at home, which isn’t healthy of their physical health. They will also lack
motivation and would easily get bored, which isn’t good for their mental
health.

 

2.2.1.1.1       
Proposal for Action

In order for people to enjoy their later and older years, there should
be some areas of work that allows anyone from any age to join; such as, helping
out in the hospital; this way, people would have places to go, instead of
staying at home. For people who aren’t employed, there should be little jobs
they could do until they get a placement at work.

 

Employment should be promoted in a positive and demanding way- this
would also help the country’s economics. If less people need benefits, this
would mean, not as much tax would be needed from people working. People who
earn benefits should only get them if they really need it; such as, large
families who really need it and elder adults who are struggling with having to
pay rent and food.

 

If employment was demanded, many people would be out working and if there
were any jobs for the elders, they wouldn’t get bored; their mental and
physical state would be healthy

 

2.3       Independent
living and satisfaction with housing and neighbourhood

The ability to independently live weakens, as
we grow older. Older adults usually have nurses take care of them or go to a
care home once they cannot independently live. However, there are some older
adults that do not want to have any help or go to a care home and there are
some who are neglected and really need help when independently living.

 

Older adults and older adults with
disabilities sometimes lose the freedom to choose where they will live- by not
liking your home and your surroundings, this could often lead to depression.xx

 

It has been said that the “UK life expectancy
is to rise to late 80s by 2030″xxi, this
means that there will be more older adults who will become less independent,
unless the quality of the elder-hood changes to give the older adults a good
quality of life.

 

2.3.1 Proposal
for Action

By having more active social groups and by
having daily check-ups with the doctors, the older generation will be able to
live their older years in comfort. The earlier doctors find the illness, the
easier it will be to tackle it- this way the older generation will be able to
independently live.

 

Older adults should have a say in where their
home will be- if they want to live alone, let them, but if they need some help,
send a nurse to check up on them on a daily basis

 

By following these proposals, the quality of
their later lives would be better and easier to cope with. This way, the
younger generations wouldn’t have to fear with growing older.

 

 

2.4       How
Quality of life Impacts the Future

The quality of your life affects and has a
huge impact to your future.

 

The health of elders is assessed by the
‘Frail Index’, the proportions of problems and defects accumulated over time.
Being frail is from the way a person has lived their lives in the past; if they
smoked, consumed a lot of alcohol or have done anything to damage their body
and health, they could be in danger as they grow older.

 

If a person was born in a healthy and safe
environment, they are very likely to live a healthy and good quality life
compared to someone born in a not so safe environment. This is because, the
more quality there is in an environment, the more likely there will be good
health-care and good education; having the right education and health-care
allows the people to live a better-quality life in the future. If the right
education and health-care isn’t there, they are most likely to struggle in the
future.

 

2.4.1  Proposal
for Action

To lessen the chances of becoming frail, people
need to be aware about frailty at a young age. If we learn the detailed risks
of smoking, alcohol consumptions and many more that affect frailty, young adults
will be cautious about their health and they will be informed; so that in the
near future, if they’re diagnosed with an illness, they would know why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i Jathoonia, Rebecca (29 Sept. 2016) National Life Tables, UK: 2013-2015.
Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/lifeexpectancies/bulletins/nationallifetablesunitedkingdom/20132015

 

ii (No Date and Author given) Who wants to live forever? – Why are people
living longer? Available at:
http://www.rgs.org/OurWork/Schools/Teaching+resources/Key+Stage+3+resources/Who+wants+to+live+forever/Why+are+people+living+longer.htm

 

 

iii Abrams, D., Russell, P.S, Vascular, M.,
& Swift, H. (2011a). Ageism in Europe: Findings from the European Social
Survey. London: Age UK.

 

iv North, M.S., & Fiske, S.T. (2012).
An Inconvenienced youth? Ageism and its potential intergenerational roots.
Psychological Bulletin, 138(5), 982-997

 

v Levy, B. (1996). Improving memory in
old age through implicit self-stereotyping. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology & Social Sciences. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbs044

 

vi Swift, H.J., Abrams, D., & Marques,
S. (2013). Threat or boost? Social comparison affects older people’s
performance differently depending on task domain. The Journal of Gerontology B:
Psychological & Social Sciences. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbs044

 

vii Levy, B. R., Slade, M. D., Kunkel, S.
R., & Kasl, S. V. (2002). Longevity increased by positive self-perceptions
of aging. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 83(2), 261. doi:
10.1037/0022-3514.83.2.261

 

viii Coudin, G., & Alexopoulos, T
(2010). ‘Help me! I’m old!’ How negative aging stereotypes create dependency
among older adults. Aging & Mental Health, 14 (5), 516-523 doi:
10.1080/13607861003713182 

 

ix Coudin, G., & Alexopoulos, T
(2010). ‘Help me! I’m old!’ How negative aging stereotypes create dependency
among older adults. Aging & Mental Health, 14 (5), 516-523 doi:
10.1080/13607861003713182 

 

x Age
UK., Over 1 milliom older people in UK feel lonely. 2014

 

xi Bassuk,
S.S., T.A. Glass, and L.F. Berkman, Social disengagement and incident cognitive
decine in community-dwelling elderly persons. Ann Intern Med, 1999.

131(3): p . 165-73

 

xii
Wilson, R.S., et al., Loneliness and risk of Alzheimer disease. Arch Gen
psychiatry, 2007. 64(2): p. 234-40

 

xiii Holt-Lunstad,
J., T.B. Smith, and J.B. Layton, Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A
Meta Analytic Review 2010

 

xiv Age
UK – https://www.ageuk.org.uk

 

xv
Martikainen, P., Does unemployment cause mortality? No date. 

 

xvi
Popovici, I. and M.T. French, does Unemployment lead to Greater Alcohol
Consumption? Industrial relations, 2013. 52(2): p. 444-466

 

xvii
Waldron, I. and D. Lye, Employment, unemployment, occupation, and smoking. Am J
Prev Med, 2989. 5(3): p.142-9

 

xviii
The Marmot Review Tea, Fair Society Healthy Lives. 2010, UCL: London.

 

xix Min,
K.B., et al,. Precarious employment and the risk of suicidal ideation and
suicide attempts. Preventive Medicine, 2015. 71: p. 72-76

 

xx  Articles from Behaviour Analysis – Association for Behaviour Analysis
International

Available at:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4711747/

 

xxi
Bazian (20 April 2015) UK Life
expectancy.

Available at:

 https://www.nhs.uk/news/medical-practice/uk-life-expectancy-expected-to-rise-to-late-80s-by-2030/