Discussion 13

Community well-being is a universal human concern that engages the young as well as the aging.  However, as we age, the well-being of individuals shifts in need and the focus on policy, technology and where and how we live is often overlooked until the need is critical.  How we age and how we take care of the aging is a direct result of our values about individual versus societal responsibility and how the demographic, economic, and political context shapes the types of policies passed and the nature of eligibility criteria.  We know the policy-making process is complicated by the fact that the older population is not one political constituency but several, in which race, gender, class, functional ability, sexual orientation, and rural/urban residence and may be greater influencers than age.  As noted in your text – Although public spending for older adults has increased in terms of total dollars, it has declined when measured as percentage of the gross national product.  More importantly, older adults and their families now spend more on health and long-term care than they did before the passage of Medicare and Medicaid.  Autonomy and dignity as we age is a convergence of policies and social interventions that involve individual responsibility as well as community awareness and the willingness and ability to act.  Gerontology as a field is at the front of this challenge by translating gerontological research findings for policy makers and the general public as well as advocating at the local, state, and federal levels.
Module 13 Objectives:  At the end of this module, the student will be able to:
1. Describe the primary federal policies, programs, and regulations intended to benefit older adults
2. Analyze the historical, economic, and political context that has affected the development of age-based policies / relate these factors to the intergenerational inequity debate
3. List the primary characteristics of Social Security
4. Analyze the benefits and limitations of Medicare coverage / discuss its future stability and solvency
5. Report Medicare and Medicaid as the two major insurance systems for the benefit of older adults
6. Identify limitations of current policies and future directions for long-term services and supports
Module 13 Resources / Materials :
1. Textbook reading: Chapter 13 Policies to Promote Older Adults’ Well-Being
2. Videos:
Global Aging and Social Policy
Healthy Aging and Policy
Module 13 Assessments:
1. Discussion Board Reflection: 50 points

2. Life Review final paper in the DROPBOX by 11pm, 7/2

Policy, aging affects all – how do you want to see your future?  Imagine that it is 30-40 years in the future, and you are facing your aging process – what will that look like?  Reflecting on Chapters 12 and 13 that address the well-being of older adults through policy, technology.  Discuss the current opportunities or lack of well-being through the aging process and then project older adult well-being 30 years in future considering policy, technology and life-space.  Tie all concepts together in your narrative being helped by Chapters 12 and 13 readings, your life experience, and your research (use 2 outside resources).

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