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Native Alaskan elders - Essay Example

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Difficulties that arise among groups of individuals are not only based on standards of living, but are also related directly to expectations from society. A prevailing problem within society is the association with the elderly and the expectations based on health, lifestyle and needs based on aging…
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Native Alaskan elders
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Download file to see previous pages It is currently noted that aging in the American territories is a prevailing issue, specifically because there are larger numbers of older adults that are growing older in society. This particular change is now being referred to as the graying of America, started by baby boomers that are now becoming older and which need extra assistance. Rising costs in care, health policy issues and the need to find specific resources are all becoming issues with every elder in American society. The Native Alaskan elders are now being looked into because the expectations for living are increasing. It is now noted that 16% of the Alaskan Native population was considered as elder in 2010 with 140,000 people being 65 or older (Easley, 1). The complexity with the Native Alaskan elders is based on abuse which is occurring among others. This includes mistreatment by family and social institutions and includes everything from domestic violence to neglect of care of the elders. It has been noted that 2.1 million elder Americans are victims of abuse each year, with only 1 in 5 cases being reported. The changes are noted to be related to the alterations in society. The first is cultural changes, which is inclusive of the traditions of Native Alaskans being lost to the colonialization and contemporary ideals of American society. The result is a loss of respect for the elders that used to exist. However, older heritages still expect the same respect and often have associations with the historical trauma of losing the tribal identity. This causes most to not respond to the abuse and to respond by alcoholism, social isolation, dependency or stress. The elderly abuse then remains suppressed in the society because of psychological and emotional responses as well as relationships to society that are emerging (Department of Health and Human Services, 1). An important aspect to consider with the changes with the elders that belong to the Native Alaskan care is based on the cultural affiliations. The difficulty is based on the newer changes in society that have led many families and associations to think differently about elders. The culture that is now prevalent is one which doesn’t have the traditional beliefs of elders that were held by Native Alaskan tribes. Most now consider aging and the deterioration of health as a burden that should be given to a social institution. However, the cultural associations of most of the elders have recounted the same traditions in which elders were widely respected and cared for in society. In the Alaskan reservations, this system still exists and creates cultural influences. This is creating one of the main controversies for those that are now categorized as being elderly. It should also be noted that the concept of living on a reservation and being influenced by these beliefs is furthered with poverty and exceptions in federal policy that don’t allow elders to have the correct care. This is leaving a gap with the elders as the right access to health care isn’t available for reservations while most families are dispersing from the ability to care for elders in the way which is expected culturally (Smyer, Stenvig, 27). The gap that is a part of the Native Alaskan elders is furthered with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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