Australia has a large number of elderly persons who do not enjoy their old age because of lack of safety. The brief is prepared to address the problem of effective integration of the elderly persons in the community. Old age is a stage that comes with lots of challenges. It exposes the elderly to lots of physical, mental, and various health issues. Therefore, Australia needs to create a safe society in which the elderly are valued, actively engaged, respected, and accepted as part of the community in which they live (Widom, Czaja & Dutton, 2014). So, the problem that needs to be resolved is the integration of the elderly persons into the society.
Old age is an inevitable stage in human growth and development. The people who are lucky to live longer must undergo through the stage. However, as already hinted, old age is often difficult to manage because it comes with a myriad of challenges (Soar, 2013). The elderly persons are so vulnerable to diseases than the younger generations. This justifies why the elderly persons are prone to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, High Blood Pressure, cancer, obesity, and many more (Holloway, 2015). The other challenge facing the elderly persons is that they lose dependence. As a result of this, they tend to rely on their loved ones for care (Bogner, et al., 2016). Those who are not lucky to be cared for by their loved ones are supported at the specialized nursing homes for the elderly.
Although this is what should happen in ideal situation, the truth is that the elderly persons do not enjoy these privileges. A large number of the elderly persons have been subjected to discrimination, prejudice, isolation, and all manners of physical, emotional, and material abuses (van Boheemen, et al., 2016). The abuses have been done to the elderly persons by their family members, social workers, nurse, physicians, and counselors. The reason why these cases have persisted is because people have not learnt to appreciate old age. Many people maltreat the elderly because they are ignorant of the sensitivity of old age (Schimmenti & Bifulco, 2015). For example, family members can opt to discriminate upon the elderly persons because they hold the view that they are bothersome and too demanding. On the other hand, the professionals have failed to discharge their role of providing holistic care because of violation of the ethical codes of conduct governing the profession (Rainey, Wicks & Ovey, 2014).
The injustices to which the elderly persons are subjected are condemned because they negatively impact on them in many ways. First and foremost, the mistreatment of the elderly persons can result into physical pain. When the elderly person is physically abused or assaulted, they can suffer bodily harm (Bogner, et al., 2016). On the other hand, the isolation of the elderly patients can cause psychological and emotional distress. When the elderly persons are isolated and discriminated, they can develop a feeling that they are unwanted people in the community (Tomuschat, 2014). The feeling of seclusion can be disastrous because it can cause lots of stress and depression. Depression is dangerous because it can precipitate the occurrence of diseases like High Blood Pressure, diabetes, and mental disorders (Boland, Burnage & Chowhan, 2013). These are the arguments used to support the initiatives to create a safe aging-friendly community in Australia.
Nonetheless, the initiative has been faulted by the critics who claim that the elderly persons should not be considered as a special category that needs preferential treatment in the community. The critics argue that the energy should be diverted to all sections of the society because they have also been victims of abuse. For example, women have been the greatest victims of domestic violence. Therefore, focus should not be on the aging alone, but other vulnerable groups like women and children as well (Caffaro, 2013). Therefore, it is undesirable in the society. It will safeguard the welfare of the aging, integrate them into the society and create cohesion amongst all the people in the regardless of age differences.
So far, efforts have been made to create a safe environment for the aging populations across the country. One of the pro-aging measures is the National Framework of Standards for Good Practice and Outcomes in Adult Protection Work 2005. Since its enactment, the framework has done a commendable job in advocating for the rights of the aging members of the community (Grimmer, Kay, Foot & Pastakia, 2015). As a result of the framework, the elderly persons have been treated with dignity and the respect they deserve as the senior members of the community. First, it requires a lot of money to be fully-implemented, monitored and evaluated. Besides, the implementation of the framework is time consuming because it involves a lot of tasks (Boland, Burnage & Chowhan, 2013). These are the constraints that have been barring the framework from realizing its full implementation. They all need to be resolved in order to create a safe environment for the aging.
It is recommended that the Age-Friendly Community is a noble initiative that should be adopted. It has come up with brilliant ideas that will improve the integration of the elderly persons in the community (Norris, Fancey, Power & Ross, 2013). It will therefore help in providing an ultimate solution to the persistent discrimination of the elderly persons in the country. The emphasis it has laid on the principles of cohesion, unity, integrity, respect, and dignity justifies that the initiative will be of great contribution (Eckermann & Sheridan, 2016). Its full implementation will cause financial, precedential, and political implications in the country. Financially, the initiative will require huge amount of money to execute. Meaning, adequate resources will have to be invested (Morse, Salyers & lins, 2014). In terms of political implications, it should be noted that the initiative will require the goodwill of the political leaders (Anstey, et al., 2016).
The recommendation of creating an Age-Friendly Community is a noble initiative that should be fully implemented. The implementation of the solution will help in ensuring that welfare of the aging populations is safeguarded. It has reached a time when Australia should not discriminate on its people because of their age (Afifi, Al-Hussein & Bouferguene, 2015). To implement the framework, a multidisciplinary agency composed of the government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), nurses, physicians, social workers, law enforcement agencies, faith-based organizations, and the general public (Leontjevas, et al., 2013). The whole process should be done in compliance with a well-outlined procedure. This procedure should involve the legislators as well. In terms of time limit, the solution requires one year to be fully implemented (Donato & Segal, 2013).
The recommendations should be communicated to all the stakeholders. Formal communication should be done in time to ensure that the information reaches the intended audience in a good time. Everyone including the minister, experts, and the policy-makers need to be informed about the program because it is necessary to do so. However, no specific communication pan is needed because it is not a must to do so.
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