Aiding the Elderly
After watching the lecture on the needs of the elderly I believe this intervention needs to begin before retirement. A huge factor with helping people through retirement I feel is to educate them on retirement. In my psychology of aging class we focused a great deal on retirement and retirement planning classes. Once a person decides when it is a good time to retire there should be community programs that give them the opportunity to educate themselves not only on the financial issues of retirement but also the opportunities and things that need to be address. For example, one of the focuses of the retirement planning classes mentioned in my other book is psychological issues or struggles of retirement. This section looks to mentally prepare those retiring for the emotional strain of not really having the same purpose as they have had for many years. It looks to focus on helping them find a new purpose or assisting them in finding an old passion, which was also mentioned in the lecture video. They also look to educate people on the importance of social interactions ,which Richard mentioned numerous times in the lecture material when discussing how important it is. I do not simple mean the importance of family but also a person's social group. Another section of retirement planning classes are activities that are available to the elderly and a huge one is volunteering which will help both the individual and the community.
The Eldervention program mentioned in the lecture is a fine example of what community leaders should be doing. We need to stop focusing all of our energy on nursing homes and the gloom of growing old. What we should focus on is reeducating the elderly on what they learned throughout life such as how to use their coping skills and having a genuine purpose. I think with pairing preventative programs with interactive programs and opportunities is the exact thing the elderly community needs to keep going. Starting intervention early on in life can assist people, as they get older for a smoother transition into growing old. Friendship village seems to be an perfect example of how different retirement can be. In the video the spokeswoman, Connie, stated that in any given week Friendship Village has over 100 different activities for the residents to go to. I think community leaders needs to focus more on creating enriching environments such as this so that elderly people can remain healthier carrying on their lives while still being a part of a community. The lecture material also mentioned the fact that older people are very set in their ways which I wonder how can you not be when you've been doing something a certain way forever but this poses a problem when a person ages. If a person is so set in their ways that they will not attempt something new they are putting themselves at risk. If the community could provide programs for various groups the elderly could more easily find a group that they fit into without having to change who they are. Social interactions are extremely important and I believe that even in nursing homes unless absolutely impossible the residents should have to interact with each other, challenge each other to grow.
Overall I think community leaders could set up programs not only to help elderly people continue their passions after retirement but I also think they can set up sort of prevention and preparation programs for people coming into retirement. If we focus on prevention and less on dealing with issues people may find more purpose in their lives. Even if elderly citizens live at home with loved ones who take care of them the same opportunities should be available. If possible a weekly newsletter should be distributed to all people 65 or older telling them about all the various opportunities the community has to offer. That way if someone is isolated they could still have an opportunity to socialize and get out (of course activities would have to provide transportation at times also). By making these opportunities available to the elderly whether it be through volunteer work or art programs the elderly are not the only ones who benefit as a community we all grow and thrive together and by having as many active members of society as possible we create a stronger unit.
In Class lecture: "Needs of Elderly." SonicFoundry. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
The retirement community where fun meets peace of mind.. (n.d.). Senior Living in Phoenix, Arizona Area. Retrieved April 13, 2014, from http://www.friendshipvillageaz.com/