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Aging and Disability Worksheet

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Aging and Disability Worksheet

Identify 2 or 3 issues faced by the aging population. 1. Unequal treatment in employment - Poverty 2. Face prejudice and discrimination - Ageism 3. Face isolation – Elderly Abuse

* What is ageism? How does ageism influence the presence of diversity in society?

Ageism is the practice of prejudice of discrimination to the elderly. The way that ageism influences the presence of diversity in society is by robbing them of their choices, independence and treating them with disrespect. Also by treating them as if they are unable to handle things for themselves as if they have reverted back to an infantile stage. It should be noted that the elderly have a lot of knowledge and wisdom to bring to the table and are able to do the same if not more than society gives them credit for. Society also views elderly people as sickly, frail and unable to take care of themselves.

* What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? How does the ADA address issues for the aging population?

The ADA is a civil rights law that was enacted in 1990 and that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. This law addresses the issues for the aging population by protecting anyone that is 40+ from being fired or from employment discrimination. It is designed to protect the aging and/or elderly from being passed over for a promotion or raise, however, it is difficult. This law does in fact protect against being fired, however, it does not do anything for helping obtain employment because of your age. This law was definitely designed to protect the elderly or aging, and in short does help to some degree, however, I personally believe that there is more that can be done to protect the aging or elderly a little more than they are.

* What is being done to address the issues you identified?

There are political organizations and advocacy groups that have been established for the elderly. One of those organizations is the Older Women’s League (OWL), which was founded in 1980. Then there is the largest organization is the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which was founded in 1958. These organizations were founded for the sole purpose of helping the elderly and aging with finding discounts for health insurance, nursing home reform, pension reform, social security benefits and a myriad of other resources for the aging and the elderly. The AAPR represents 1 in every 4 registered voters in the United States. (AARP 2003)

* Is the number of aging population expected to rise in numbers or decrease?

The number of aging population is expected to rise in numbers. According to the Bureau of Census 2008c, the population of baby boomers which was 1 in 10 in 1960 which is projected to be 1 in 4 by 2050. So yes, there is tremendous increase that will be coming. The percentage of increase from over 65 from 2010 to 2050 will show an increase of 22%. I believe that the baby boomers are living longer and are keeping themselves in better shape. I believe that with modern medical technology, it will prove that people will be living longer and longer.

* What types of legislation may or may not be affected by the aging population?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect seniors. The elderly have been saving all of their lives for their retirement and now although they will be eligible for Medicare, that just will not be enough and they will have to have health insurance. By obtaining health insurance they will be subject to higher premiums as Medicare will cover less and less. Unfortunately that is going to put the financial burden on the elderly to pay the difference of what is not going to be paid by Medicaid since the doctors, hospitals and nursing facilities are going to continue to raise the amounts and whatever is not covered by the insurance is going to be the obligation of the elderly which is going to cut into their retirements.

* How does poverty affect the aging population?

There is only one logical explanation for this. The fact that there has been crashes in the stock market, the value of properties have plummeted and that fact that food, fuel, clothing, taxes and anything else that you can think of has soared significantly in price has to be the contributing factor to poverty affecting the aging population. The reality is that if it is affecting the entire nation then it only goes to affect the elderly even more since most of them are on a fixed income. Inflation has skyrocketed and wages have not. Even if the aged want to stretch their retirement longer than they had anticipated it is going to be difficult for them to continue working with the employment prejudice and discrimination that they are already beginning to face.

* What does the ADA provide for people with disabilities?

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990. The American Disabilities Act was enacted to provide comprehensive civil rights protection to qualified individuals with disabilities. An Individual with a disability is a person that has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits life activities. A person that is qualified with a disability is an individual who meets the essential requirement for receipt of services or participation in programs. The impairments could be physical or mental impairments. Such impairments are visual, speech, retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV, diabetes or heart disease. The American Disabilities Act requires a case –by- case determination.

* How have people with disabilities been treated in the past?

People with disabilities, in the past have been treated with pity and fear. There has been a stigmatism attached to people with disabilities because of the fact that they are blind or in a wheel chair. It was so bad that during the 16th century, Christians had indicated that the mentally retarded and other people that had disabilities were possessed by evil spirits. At that time religious leaders had subjected people with disabilities or mental illness to physical pain in an attempt to exorcise the evil spirits. (Thomas 1957) In the 19th century, Darwinism objected to the state aid to the poor and otherwise the handicapped. (Hobbs 1973)

* How has the attitude toward people with disabilities changed over time?

Apparently, the attitude towards people with disabilities has changed over time. It has changed in a positive direction to the extent that there are reshaping conceptualizations so that the barriers to work are curtailed or eliminated is important for many reasons. The reasons are reducing poverty, maximizing human resources and promoting human dignity. (Who, 2011). Disability is an issue that is being addressed across the world, not just in the United States. Disability is being addressed on so many level, internationally, educationally and personal. The reason or this is to educate people so that they are not treated as outcasts.

* What are some unique circumstances or issues encountered by people with disabilities?

Some of the circumstances or issues that are encountered by people with disabilities are that they can experience economic, employment equity and human rights concerns. This can also lead to social exclusion and dependence as individuals that are a “burden” to society. The main focus of people with disabilities is that they are more of impairment then they are an asset. This is where they are social exclusions, which will contribute to poverty to not only the disabled, but their families a result of unemployment and marginalization. These are the main issues that are encountered by people with disabilities. (WHO, 2011)

* What is being done to address those issues?

The AAPD has a strong position in Washington, D. C. policy-makers circles. At this stage of the game they are being heard in Congress, in the executive branch, and among other civil rights allies. The ADA Amendments Act, Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act are three Acts of what the coalition can accomplish. Other areas that are making a move are PTAs, places of worship, schools and neighborhoods. The AAPD is currently building a vehicle for everyone to join in and participate together. They are also building a conduit for unapologetic demands for justice.

* What types of legislation have been introduced to address issues faced by people with disabilities?

In 1990 the American Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed by President George Bush. It was a comprehensive design to protect people with a variety of disabilities’ in many areas of public life. The ADA grew out of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. The results of the ADA litigation is that it has played an important role in making sidewalks, building, and transportation systems more accessible to people with disabilities. It has also played a significant role in removing physical obstacles to mobility and the courts have been sympathetic to persons seeking to remove the physical barriers. That is the role that legislation has played in the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

References:

http://www.alfa.org/

Racial and Ethnic Groups, Thirteenth edition, by Richard T. Schaefer. Published by Merrill Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2012 by Pearson Education, Inc.

American Disabilities Act National Nedwork, Information, Guidance, and Training on the American with Disability Act /adata.org/

Bureau of the Census 2008c.

Bureau of the Census 2008c: Table 2-c; Howden and Meyer 2011:Figure 4.

Timely Analysis of Immediate Health Policy Issues
July 2010 Robert Berenson and John Holahan

Your Rights Under the Americans with Disability Act
(H-140/June 2000 – revised June 2006)/ http://www.hhs.gov/
Hobbs, M.C. (1973). The future of children categories and their consequences. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Thomas, D. (n.d.). A Survey Of Mental Deficiency Problems In The United States Of America.Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 33-52.
World Health Organization (2011) World Report on Disability. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO Press
Copyright © 2014 The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights/The Leadership Conference Education Fund. All rights reserved.
Mezey, Susan. "Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)." In Burch, Susan, ed.Encyclopedia of American Disability History. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2009.American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
ItemID=WE52&iPin=EADH0039&SingleRecord=True (accessed September 12, 2014).…...

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