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. Older persons do not want to be "cases" and don't want to be managed. If "empowerment" can lead to some semantic distortions, the term "case manager" conjures up a totally opposite image (Ahrons C. 2002, 49-68).
Autonomy is indeed a difficult element to maintain in the lives of individuals or organizations. Older people need to find, among providers of service and public policy leaders, allies who will be willing to open channels for self-empowerment. These allies will have to be equally adept at containment--and resist the temptation to give too much advice or to suggest, by verbal and nonverbal means, that their counsel is crucial to the decision making by older persons. The greatest role that can be played by providers is to help educate older persons to continue to make critical decisions independently of them, and to organize with persons in similar circumstances to affect the milieu in which they live (Antonucci T, 2001, 519-27).
The Assessment Of Dependency In Older People
I think that any discussion of authorize the old must begin with this assumption: The phenomenon of aging is now producing something new under the sun a change in the basic character of this planet's human inhabitants. Such a basic social change will require a parallel shift in social consciousness. Without it, nothing else we might plan for will ultimately be effective.
But we are not paying enough attention to that aspect of empowerment that ought to precede these developments, and without which political and economic progress will stall. Summoning the political will to cope with global aging in the coming decades also will require a revolution in thought and feeling. There must be a change in what everyone perceives and believes to be the place of elders in the social fabric. We must distinguish between the instruments through which older people everywhere might be empowered, and the political and personal