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Aging, Poverty, and Community Practice in the United States : The Need for Empowerment-Oriented Practice

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概要 Poverty in late life has several key contributing factors that are perhaps to some extent universal, also have unique characteristics based on the political, economy, and predominant social /cultural ...values in different societies. Poverty among the elderly in the U.S. is understated in most economic reports for a number of reasons (Gonyea, 2005). For example, poverty defined as adequate resources to support a minimal standard of living raises strong challenges to current methods of determining the numbers of older Americans living in poverty. Evaluation of the poverty experience of older adults must include attention to the weakness of the official poverty rate, the limitations of provision for adequate health care, age discrimination, 'lack of community' and other factors, especially the nature of transportation, housing, types, cost, and location (Libson, 2006). A brief discussion of these factors, followed by an overview of selected programs and interventions designed to address these issues, is presented in the paper. It is important to note that this array of approaches to address the issues of older Americans have been subject to the on-going radical changes in the political economy. Aging related policies in the United States include privatization, social welfare cuts, devolution, and de-regulation among other social value changes related to the status of older adults such as a challenge to the legitimacy of retirement (Ghilarducci, 2006) and challenge of age status as a factor in social provision (Hudson, 2005). This change is further reinforced by the escalated focus on individual and /or family responsibility versus state or private assistance (Cox, 2008). These trends have also diminished the resources available to fund advocacy programs that address key issue of older Americans. Those who are serving as advocates face larger numbers of programs who are unable to keep up with needs of their constituencies and unable to develop new resources necessary to meet diverse circumstances of older Americans, especially those with inadequate financial resources (Stone, 2004 ; Rother, 2004). The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the nature and content of social welfare policy and services concerning older Americans, with particular attention to the older adults in need. In order to have more insights into the understanding of aging issues and policy in the U.S., the larger political economy will be briefly introduced. The second part of the paper discusses the four overall approaches to community practice based on several trends or movements. Finally, with the predominately medical services to meet the needs of aging population, there is presently a great need for the empowermentoriented community development interventions to improve the quality of life for older adults.続きを見る
目次 I. Introduction
II. Key Issues Concerning Older Americans : Income, Health Care and Social Services
III. Programs that Focus on Community Development
IV. Conclusion

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登録日 2012.08.16
更新日 2023.11.01

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