Health in later life(health promotion - Essay Example

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Old Age & Ageing Discourse, Social Attitude & Personal Identity [Pick the date] Introduction Old age is considered as the phase of human life in which he/she is expected to be incapable of performing normal activities of life. Public and media discourses play a pivotal role in defining a general perception of this stage of human life…
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Download file to see previous pages This social attitude provokes youth to develop a certain behavioural pattern toward elderly citizens expecting them to be less functional and efficient. As a result of this social norm, elder citizens are forced to either refrain from taking part in social activities or redefining this external identity of being old with the help of technological advancements available dependent on their self-image. Discourse, social behaviour, and personal images play significant role in defining old age and ageing process, and project it to be synonymous to illness, dependence over others, and incapability of carrying out normal activities independently. Old Age & Ageing in Discourse In today’s western world, common public discourse act as the main criteria for defining ageing and old age. It is important to note that cultural and social stereotypes are the main determinants in defining social and personal identities of the ageing individuals. Public perception act as the main element in defining the very definition of old people. In general terms, old age is associated with failing body functions, illness, inability to perform normal activities independently, wrinkled skin with grey hair etc. Due to this social dogma, senior citizens are forced to adopt a life style which may not show compatibility with their actual potential. This social behaviour is further reinforced by public, general policies and media discourse. According to research conducted by Mei-Chen Lin, Mary Lee Hummertb, and Jake Harwood (2004), an online-discourse was evaluated in order to identify negative and positive themes related to ageing. According to their findings, positive themes included a mind-over-body attitude, active engagement, wisdom and maturity, and the freedom of age whereas negative themes involved physical decline, a sense of loss, and resistance to aging (p. 261 ). Further deliberation related to public policies also helped in developing an understanding that elderly citizens need due care in order to live a quality life. They are perceived to be dependent on their family, relatives and social care authorities for their end-life needs and perceived to be unable of helping themselves. Further careful analysis also indicated that ageing is a fearful phenomenon which makes individuals burden for their family as well as state. Due to this, policy measures are devised which would isolate elderly citizens from the rest of the society in the definition of providing them better care facilities. Many old age homes and social care shelters tend to provide living places to the elder citizens instead of actually engaging them society building. This dogma of weakness makes ageing a state of life which has to be avoided or if adopted, must be followed by a pattern of self-pity, idleness and uselessness. Other factors determining public discourse are gender roles. Where women and men go through more or less similar biological ageing process, the intersection of gender and ageing discourse is usually unidirectional and favors women more (Wilinska, 2010). Media is considered as one of the most important forums of discourse and philosophy promulgated through this source has a better tendency of penetrating into general public. Everyday numerous soaps, movies and cartoons are broadcasted which portray old people as feeble and clumsy individuals who are unable of taking care of themselves (Wilinska, 2010). A famous TV show, The Simpsons, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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