Counselors around the world have to assist old people in getting all they need per living. Aging policies are the first thing to study before setting off as a counselor. It is impossible to support adult clients without knowing human rights and corresponding laws by heart.
TAKING CARE OF OLDER PEOPLE - WHAT CAN BE MORE NOBLE?
First, victimization and abuse must be addressed. The number of elderly people experiencing physical abuse is dramatic. They are looking for the best medical treatment, so it’s up to counselors to assist them.
Another issue which disturbs elderly people is continued employment. Some companies do not allow their employees to keep working after reaching the particular age. So, the counselor has to make sure the job is risky for elderly people’s health, and no human rights were violated. Workplace accommodations is another interrelated item to observe.
Disability is an extremely important problem that arises many questions. The adult client can be problematic due to his age, but when a disability follows it, it gets even more complicated. Grandparenting is just as important as ordinary parenting. Moreover, while parents have to take care only of own children, grandparents care about two or three generations. It is hard to cope with all family responsibilities at that age.
Limited financial resources are relevant problems only in those countries where the government provides miserable social benefits to the elderly population. As a rule, these issues arise in the Countries of the Third World, which GDP and purchasing power parity are rather low. Retirement period is the one associated with a pension.
Only by implementing special cautions, a counselor can avoid problems with adult clients. Elderly people need protection and feeling of safety more than other age groups. They are physically weaker, and their memory is worse. Thus, guardianship is number one rule to obey when consulting such clients. It is crucial to explain them all changes in laws and regulations. A counselor’s obligation is to know how many resources a particular community can allocate for covering elderly population’s needs. Everything has to be balanced. Professional advocacy will allow avoiding misunderstanding. Another important element is a case management that handles appropriate supervisions of those projects developed for adult clients. This issue is related to various medical aspects like insurance. They need some guarantees and healthcare provision.
Third, it is necessary to plan the financial expenditures. Experts will also need to study gerontology, which is about “helping older individuals to overcome losses, to establish new objectives, and to reach decisions based on the importance of being in the present as well as looking for future opportunities” (Riker and Meyers, 1995). Vocational counseling is another source of elderly services. It is necessary in order to help adult clients in choosing further career or rehabilitation plan. Often, they are not capable of making a decision alone. “The impact of retirement can be more detrimental depending on marital status, ethnicity, gender as well as whether retirement was voluntary or involuntary” (Kim & Moen, 2001).
Additional training aimed to retain old employees with the minimum losses for both sides will only add up. When talking about diversity in the age groups, we forget about diversity in cultural backgrounds. Historical and ethnic skills would result into a big plus for the counselors.
To sum up, adult clients turn for professional counseling help due to the lack of memory, competence, juridical and economic skills, problems with health, financial limitations, and simply in search for a helping hand, salvation from loneliness, respect, and understanding. Thus, any counselor has to be not only great advisor, but a psychologist, supervisor, manager, and lawyer.
Read Dixon, C. G., Richard, M., & Rollins, C. W. (2003). Contemporary Issues Facing
Aging Americans: Implications for Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. Journal
of Rehabilitation, 69 (2), 5.