Issues Facing Seniors

Nowadays, seniors face many issues that may be extremely detrimental for their health and lives. The given paper aims to reveal issues that have affected one interviewed older woman, namely, Mrs. Smith who has agreed to reveal her concerns regarding her age. From her perspective, the paper will reflect on an attitude that seniors have towards various social and community-based programs.

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Discussion of Abuse

The first few questions of the interview with the older person relate to abuse exercised towards Mrs. Smith. The one mentioned that she had recently come across statistics that proved that almost every person in the USA had experienced a certain kind of abuse. Of course, she was not an exception. Mrs. Smith indicated that while she was studying at college, professor harassed her because she was quite attractive. Nevertheless, she managed to go through this without serious outcomes. Unfortunately, the woman did not report on that professor, although she should have done it. At that time, she was too afraid of possible consequences of reporting the case of abuse and decided to keep silence. More than that, she witnessed many cases when girls were abused by men, especially on campus, and realized that it was quite a widespread or even accepted phenomenon within the academic community. Everybody just preferred to conceal all cases. Moreover, Mrs. Smith was afraid that even in case of reporting on that professor nobody would believe her. She had suffered from psychological fears and was quite upset all the time. Therefore, she applied for psychological help that was available on campus. She asserts that years ago people cared mainly about physical conditions of their bodies and disregarded the mental state of health. Fortunately, nowadays more and more attention is paid to psychology and mental diseases. Reflecting on this story, it is important to stress that today people may share their experience of abuse. Unfortunately, no information on such cases among people of the elder age has been provided. However, seniors definitely suffer from physical or psychological abuse since they are less strong, both mentally and physically, to resist challenges of the outside world.

The Use of Community Services by Older People

In the interview with Mrs. Smith, she indicated the use of community services that provided her with independence from her family members. The woman asserted that she was relatively safe and sound, yet years ago when she went through a surgical intervention, she needed a certain kind of support from community services. Unfortunately, her family members did not have enough time to take care of Mrs. Smith; therefore, she had to invite a community housekeeper into her dwellings who took care of cleanness issues and cooking from time to time. These services indeed helped her to survive the hard moment in her life. Moreover, she believes that taking care of oneself and the ability to do it without help and assistance of others actually provides seniors with more confidence. 

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An Attitude towards Institutional Care

An attitude towards institutional care is mostly positive. Mrs. Smith asserted that the latter is a better option than living lonely without any kind of care. Unfortunately, many Americans have no means to get personalized care or relatives who can look after them. In such cases, institutional care is a way out. However, it seems that this kind is not always personal and that the government still has to take many measures to ensure that all standards are followed in this area and that old people indeed get treatment that they need. More than that, they have to choose special people with the increased level of sympathy and empathy towards others so that their care will not be mechanic but more sincere and healing one. Considering this, the attitude towards institutional care is two-fold, yet quite positive one.

Family Care and Assisted Living Facilities

Mrs. Smith mentioned that she and her family members had conversation regarding her future perspectives and agreed that she would remain independent as long as she could. After that, one of her children would start taking care of her. She stressed that they did not consider assisted living homes as an option since she did not like living conditions provided to guests of such places. More than that, she believes that these facilities are more like hospices where everyone is looking for their turn to leave. As Mrs. Smith stresses, she knows that they have been improved for the recent years; however, she still holds certain mistrust in regard to them. In addition, the woman considers that a loving and friendly environment created by family members cannot be replaced with any kind of institutional care regardless of its costs and level. Therefore, Mrs. Smith is obviously against living facilities that are offered by the state. Presumably, such an attitude is based on stereotypes regarding such institutions, and the government should take certain measures to fight them.

Mrs. Smith also mentioned that once she had broken her arm and needed some help from her family members. Her daughter, Susan, took care of her. She invited Mrs. Smith into her house, where the woman had lived for six months and was surrounded by her grandchildren. She asserted that they had great time together and this experience helped her to not to lose a few years and feel more needed and energized since she frequently looked after children as well.

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It should be stressed that older people indeed face many challenges. They keep silence in relation to abuse cases that have been exercised towards them and prefer to dwell more on their personal experience. They still hold certain mistrust regarding institutional care even though they believe that it is a way out for many unattended older people. In addition, they assert that it is better for them to be taken care of by their families whereas they still prefer to remain independent until they can. These conclusions are based on a single story and should not be considered as universal ones. Nevertheless, they should be definitely heard by policy-makers in order to address the needs of older adults in the future standards of institutional care.

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