Aging in America

ImageOver the past few decades, those who are supposed to use their power to remold the society and facilitate in wealth distribution have gone against their expectations to fulfill personal needs. By distorting the provision of equal opportunity, these people and organizations have managed to relocate these benefits and opportunities on the basis of age, gender, race, and even medical heath, thus inhibiting the same development they are supposed to be promoting. It is with these shortcomings that the Government came up with the Medicare Social Security Act and Ade Discrimination in Employment Acts so as to safeguard employees from discriminative employers. These two Acts have major provisions that are explained below.

The Social Security Act was established in 1965. This Act was funded by both tax collected from employee earnings as well as employer contributions. It was well received, and approximately 20 million people enrolled in it. Its main objective was to provide hospital insurance to people aged 65 years and over. This is because people over the age of 65 are prone to numerous medical conditions that can prove to be quite expensive, especially on retirees.  Moreover, the Medicare program facilitates the reduction of over-reliance in old age. Elderly people are able to handle their medical bills without necessarily involving their relatives and burdening them with medical costs.

Another provision of the Medicare program is to provide benefits to those people under the age of 65 years but who are physically or permanently disabled, and those who may meet other special criteria. Being disabled can be very expensive and taxing. The medical costs and other special costs incurred can prove to be too much to handle. Therefore, this Act provides that disabled individuals are entitled to receive benefits for a period of 24 consecutive months. These benefits assist the disabled in taking care of their condition, and thus reducing the burden imposed on them and their families.  However, these benefits do not cover spouses or dependants of the beneficiary.

 The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 was established to guard all workers 40 years and older from any kind of discrimination in pay, hiring, promotions, discharge, fringe benefits, and all other areas of employment. Some employers use a person’s age as an unfair factor when deciding who gets what job or other job benefits. ADEA promotes the employment of older personnel based on their ability to perform as opposed to their age. Moreover, this Act insists on the issue of employers finding better ways of handling problems that arise from the adverse influence of age on employment.

Furthermore, this Act protects workers over the age of 40 from being unfairly demoted, fired, or given reduced benefits. ADEA provides that all workers, young and old, should be given equal opportunities and chances to acquire the same benefits, salaries, and pension schemes. The Act applies to all companies that have more than 20 employees, (true employees in particular), excluding independent contractors. Additionally, this act prohibits the removal of accruals and pension contributions on accounts of one’s age. It also regulates retirement plans and all other benefits regarding integration and planning for older employees. Therefore, this Act is aimed at providing equal employment opportunities to all people, regardless of their age.

Gerontophobia            -This refers to the gruesome hatred or fear of old people, or of growing old. As normal as growing old might be, some people get terrified when the simple idea of growing old crosses their mind. This fear is deeply rooted in the minds of people suffering from Gerontophobia.

People suffering from Gerontophobia usually experience symptoms similar to those of many anxiety disorders. The moment they are faced with this fear, they act as though they are having panic attacks. This may be in the form of labored breathing, excessive sweating, general anxiety, a decrease in blood pressure, and the inability to speak normally or think clearly. Although this fear is usually unfounded, it may result in a future filled with a lot of problems, such as depression and withdrawal from the outside world.

The values associated with Gerontophobia are such as promotion of the creation of a caring community, encouraging people to show compassion, encouraging people to revel in all creation, and making peace with the elderly. Therefore, there is no point in hating or being scared of the old people, or even of growing old, since wisdom comes with age. Instead of shunning the elderly, we are encouraged to care for them, sine it brings blessings.

Instead of neglecting the aged, it is even much easier to show compassion to them. Moreover, offering kindness, friendship, and courtesy is a better way to deal with those who are older in the community. The best thing to do when faced with the fear of the old is to try as much as possible to foster loving relationships with them and making them feel wanted as opposed to making them feel like a bother . This way, it is much easier to avoid going through the negative consequences of Gerontophobia. In addition to that, offering service to the aged unselfishly is a very positive value to take, since one becomes more blessed and less troubled by the idea of having old people surrounding them.                  

Respecting God creatures is also another value that can help people overcome Gerontophobia, since there is no reason to respect some people and disrespect others. Having a welcoming attitude is a plus, as it allows one to see the positives of the other people as well as listening to their views, as opposed to ignoring them just because they are older. Therefore, it is easier to deal with Gerontophobia when one has an open mind.        

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