Working With Older People (With HIV) - Essay Example

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Social work involves working with the community with the aim of eliminating social problem and enhancing relationships between people. A social worker is therefore concerned with the welfare of each member of the society regardless of age. …
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Working With Older People (With HIV)
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Download file to see previous pages However, Social workers are more concerned with the vulnerable members of the society. In any society, old people and people living with HIV are vulnerable. This indicates that old people who are HIV positive are more vulnerable and hence of bigger interest in social work. This essay will investigate how it is to work with old people living with HIV in UK. The essay will also investigate the implication of expected increase in old people to the number of old people living with HIV. In most developed countries particularly the European and American regions, an old person is a person who is beyond 65 years of age. This definition has been considered as western concept for defining old age especially among the African communities. The definition of an old person is arbitrary and in most cases, it depends with a given community. The United Nation policies consider an old person to be a person who is beyond sixty years of age. At this age, the person can be considered as a pensioner. The UN definition correlates with the UK definition of an old person. According to the Friendly Society Act of 1875, old age begins after fifty years of age. Many people however consider old age higher than this. The pension scheme reorganizes old people as people who are beyond 65 years of age. The different definitions of old age indicate the lacks of universal definition of old age. Due to an increase in life expectancy the number of old people in a society especially the European society is expected to increase. In UK, the population the total population of old people is projected to reach 50% of total population according to the Royal College report (Goulet, Fultz & Rimland, 2007). HIV is a medical condition whereby a human body lacks the ability to fight or resist infection. The abbreviations HIV stands for Human immunodeficiency virus. Currently there is no cure or vaccination against the condition and therefore HIV is a major medical problem. HIV has no boundaries or restrictions since it affect all people regardless of their age bracket and social status (Effros, Fletcher, Gebo, 2008). HIV has often been associated with the young and active members of a given society. Recently this idea has been proved just a myth since older people have the same risk to acquire the virus as young people. Research has also shown that older people are prone to infection due to their weak immunity system. This confirmation has eliminated the original belief that at old age a person is no longer vulnerable to HIV. The finding has also identified a problem that is of great interest especially among social worker. Recent studies have also proved that the numbers of old people living with HIV is increasing steadily. Medical practitioners have attributed the risks of acquiring HIV at old age to various reasons. Firstly, the availability of treatment has raised the life expectancy of people living with HIV. This indicates that people can live with the condition to old age. In 2007 it was estimated that nearly 77,400 people had been infected and living with HIV in the country (Blackwoods, 1999). Although this figure mainly consist of the young people the number of old people living with the condition is set to increase. Older people living with HIV experience different livelihood than young people living with the same condition. In reality, older people living with the condition experience a more difficult livelihood (Kathleen, et al, 2000). The main reason for the difficulties is the stigma associated with the condition and the vulnerability of old people to opportunistic infections. This indicates that social workers have greater tasks when dealing with people living with the condition than thought initially (Effros, Fletcher & Gebo, 2008). The aim of working with older ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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