Promoting Independence Essay

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Despite a great deal of progress in the efforts to end the myths surrounding the aging process, there are still some powerful images that govern both policies and programs dealing with older people. None is more manifest than the view that older people are increasingly dependent, need protection from their environment, and eventually from themselves.


There are older persons who need protection from exploitation by forces in society, sometimes from relatives, and even from themselves. Though, this is not the case by means of the overwhelming preponderance of older persons who are not only able of self-determination but be adamant on uphold their independence and dignity, even in the face of bodily complexity.
The fact is that older persons are like everyone else. They seek independence and participation in choice making. They do not distinguish themselves as clients or patients. They are not willing to dump their decision for the decision of others and want to uphold control of their own fate (Adams R. G. 2005, 222-227).
In recent years, a new occupational group has been created to work with older persons. Known as "case" or "care" managers, these individuals can work with a wide range of clients. Ideally, they can operate with the same concern for self-determination that social case workers demonstrated in earlier times. Yet they can also be vested with power and decision making by the bureaucracies that employ them making decisions for people rather than responding to the wishes of their clients. The dilemma is real and can be modified by clear appeal procedures, empowerment education for clients, and ombudsmen with sufficient leverage to challenge case managers. ...
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