Running head: GRANDPARENTHOOD AND ELDERLY STATUS 1
Grand-parenthoodAnd Elderly Status
Grand-parenthoodAnd Elderly Status
Overtime, there has been an increased interest in the issue ofgrandparenthood. Grandparenthood is one of the significant statusesin the life of adults. From the mid-1970’s the aspects ofgrandparenthood have had an increase in scholarly interest. This isdue to the fact that, there has been a prevalence of grandparents aswell as an increase in the number of years that people areexperiencing grandparent role. Differently aspect has greatly changedin the way grandparenthood is treated. With inception and adoption ofhomes for the old (caregivers), there have been changes in grandparenting styles. This has in turn changed even the way grandparents’interacts with grandchildren. In the modern times, there have beendifferent changes even to the way the elder people in the communitythis has led to the issue of elder abuse. However, the product isbelieved to be the determinant of an individual’s old age afterhe/she retires from work. This paper focuses on three questionsSection A, Question 2, and Section B, Questions 3 and 5.
SectionA Question 2
a)Being a grandmother/father is commonly referred by manygrandparenthood. Nevertheless, the status is a significant in thelife of old people/adults and the status is greatly dependent on thenorms and structure of any given kinship. Over the last century, thecontours of grandparenthood have changed due to factors such associal structures and demographic factors, as well as the diversityin the aspect of the grandparent/grandchild relationship(Grandparenthoodnd).The aspect of grandparenthood has, however, undergone enormoushistorical demographic changes to its current state. The traditionalimage of grandparents was a retired person in rocking chairs.Demographically, there has been an increased longevity as well asdelayed and decreased fertility and the changing patterns ofgeographic mobility and all changed the dimensions ofgrandparenthood. Grand parenting has been classified into fivestyles, i.e. detached, passive, supportive, authoritative andinfluential (Hooyman& Kiyak, 2008).
Inthe 20th century, there has been a case of delayed and decreasedfertility which have somewhat changed the face of grandparenthood.Other factors that have affected the aspect of grandparenthood arethe aspect of the decline in the number of children from an averageof 4 in 1900 to 2 in 2000. In addition, there have been effects ofpractices such as delayed childbearing and increased childlessness.In the modern times, despite the physical distance between thegrandparents and grandchildren, strong bonds have been maintainedthrough the development of communication and transport services.
b)The establishment of intergenerational continuity has proved to bemore challenging in the modern times compared to previous times, withdifferent factors contributing to this aspect. Intergenerationalcontinuity is the maintenance of the understanding of grandparenthoodfrom one generation to the other. The challenges of findingintergenerational continuity are greatly due to changing society andvalues in families. In addition, there has been a lack of clearly setgoals and experiences that are shared within a family(Grandparenthoodnd).In addition, there have been changes in the roles played by thegrandparents in the family relationship. For example, thegrandfathers are changing from authoritative to submissive and inturn changing the stableness of an intergenerational continuity. Onthe other hand, another challenge has been changed in the social andcultural context of grandparenthood (Hooyman& Kiyak, 2008).Finally, the change in the family set-up such as the aspect ofchildlessness, and delayed bearing of children, there is an overlapbetween parenthood, grandparenthood, and great grand-parenthood,which in turn is negatively impacting the effective assessment ofintergenerational continuity.
c) Both older adult and grandparenthood have different concerns anddemands, however, in the recent time grand-parenthood status is moresatisfying compared to being in the state of an older life. However,the satisfaction of each of the status is dependent on the kinshipsystem. The older adults can still take care of themselves and enjoya positive relationship with their grandchildren. In the case ofgrandparent, their connection to the family members may be reduced tocommunication through other mediums as physical contact is usuallyminimal. However, on the other hand, the role of the grandparent inthe family is seen as that of stabilizing as well as taken as thedriving factors behind family cohesion. At grandparent status, therelationship with the grandchildren is somewhat controlled, unlikethe case with older adults who are in connection with both cases,i.e., the children and the grandparent any time they want. Thegrandparenthood, on the other hand, offers an opportunity for one torework or review his previous successful or unsuccessful issues inlife (Hooyman& Kiyak, 2008).Moreover, the grand-parenthood status offers one a time to compensatefor earlier losses such as home, assets or a job. Despite the aspectof a changing society from the earliest time, which also signifiesthe continued change of the grandparent roles in a family set-upcontinuity, the grand-parenthood remains equally important as before.
SectionB, Questions 3
Timeand again cases of elder people being abused have been heard orrecorded. Every year, hundreds of older people in the society aresubjected to different forms of abuse, neglected by their families orthe people who are responsible for their care to an extent of beingexploited in some cases. In simple definition, elder abuse can besummarized as any act by a caregiver or any other person that resultsin harming or resulting in a serious risk to a vulnerable adulteither knowingly, intentionally or through negligence. In the UnitedStates, laws have been passed and enacted so as to curb any form ofelderly abuse (Hooyman& Kiyak, 2008).
Elderabuse has become a problem among the American society as it hasresulted in severe cases of abuse and negligence among the olderpopulation in the community. One aspect that makes the practice aproblem in the community is due to the fact that, elder abuse is aviolation of human rights and results into significant illness, lossof productivity, despair, isolation and also injury the victims. Inaddition, the issue of elder abuse causes devastating psychologicalproblems among the elder people in the community notably to thevictims. Elder abuse in all its forms is ugly, painful, costly andsimply wrong. Moreover, elder abuse has resulted in medical expensesand healthy institutions, attempts to solve the menace caused toolder people in the community. The practice is under-reported andthis in turn makes it a problem and a hidden crime as elder peoplecontinue to suffer silently. This in turn making the abuse of olderpeople a growing problem in the society (Hooyman& Kiyak, 2008).Finally, the acts of elder abuse remain a problem as the victim maysuffer from psychological, physical or sexual harm not forgettingfinancial exploitation which has become a common malpractice that theelder persons are vulnerable to.
Takingthe case of the United States, the census results of 2010 revealedthe largest number of elder people. The percentage of people at theage of 65 and older constituted 13% of the total population. It hasbeen hard to obtain accurate statistics with reference to the menaceof elder abuse. This is due to the fact that, this problem is largelya hidden problem in the society (ElderAbuse, nd).Moreover, the elder people in the community who may suffer from theproblem are unwilling to report the cases due to fears of disbelief.With reference to statistical information, 64% of the abuse cases areexperienced at family homes while an estimated 24% in residentialcare and around 5% suffers the abuse in hospitals. In addition,women, elders are the most vulnerable victims of elder abuse, making65% of the abused persons. Moreover, psychological because being thehighest abuse the elderly suffered and was recorded at 59 %, whichwas followed by financial abuse, then physical abuse at 42%, and 12% respectively. In terms of abusers, 70% of abusers are victims’family members, with both sons and daughters turning to be abusersranging at an estimate of 40% of the abusers. In terms of the effectsof the abuse, the largest portion of the cases was consideredlife-threatening, while few cases resulted in death. Despite the lackof reporting of the problem to the relevant concerned agencies,National Center on Elder Abuse records shows that, in a period of 10years, the rate of reports has increased from 117,000 to around296,000 which is a remarkable trend (Hooyman& Kiyak, 2008).
Theproblem of elder abuse has, however, become a problem that isbecoming harder to be fought. This is due to the different factorsthat are making the fight against the menace a problem too. One majorcovering aspect behind the problem becoming less known is the lack ofreporting by the victims (ElderAbuse, nd).This in turn causes them to suffer in secrecy. Additionally, due tothe fact that majority suffers the menace of abuse from their familymembers, then it’s easy to cover the problem from being reported.The Shroud of secrecy, therefore surrounds the problem, withreference to the case of reporting, the problem remainsunder-reported with an approximate 1/14 cases reaching the relevantand concerned bodies. With the increasing age of the elder people inthe society, as well as demand for more caregiver services, the trendwith reference to the problem is that, it continues to increase(Hooyman& Kiyak, 2008).
Differentperspective has been deployed overtime to face the elder abuse issuein the community. One of such approaches is the EcologicalPerspective of Elder Abuse.The ecological framework is concerned with distinctive risk factorsfor elder people. This means that, the problem needs an ecologicalapproach, which characterized by focus of risk factors instead ofproblem causes. The approach has distinct levels, as it’s much lessabstract compared to systematic approach, as an ecological approachhelps to identify the areas that are of great concern to the elderpeople. Ecological perspective system levels entail i) microsystemwhich is the basic level, and refers to the victims immediateenvironment such as the impact of elder abuse or family members.There is also ii) the mesosystem, which is a level that entailsinteraction between multiple microsystems. Then there is iii)Exosystem and iv) The Macrosystem, which the last level(ElderAbuse, nd).
Eachof the levels discussed above with respect to the ecologicalperspective towards the elder abuse issue has varying risk factorsdistributed throughout the levels. The mesosystem level entailsdifferent challenges to both the caregiver and the elderly who needsthe services. It’s difficult to take care of elderly senior whohave different needs, in addition it’s hard to be elderly as agebrings along dependence. Both aspects of caregiver demands and theneeds of the elder can in turn bring along an environment where abuseis more likely. In case of care giver, two key risk factors includeinability of the caregiver to cope with stress from the work ofserving the elderly, and on the other hand, the depression problemthat is a common thing among caregivers (Hooyman& Kiyak, 2008).
SectionB, Questions 5
Whetherpeople acknowledge it or not, it’s true every person fears death,and it remains a mystery that has led to different approaches fromvarying perspectives. Death is one of the key/central issues in whichscience, religion and philosophy have wrestled with since the historyof man. Despite being a natural stage in a man’s life cycle, deathis feared by many, and which should be defeated at all cost with themodern medicine and machines. On the other hand, people fear to holdopen discussions about death. Despite the fear of death by humans,the death of old age or the later years have brought along a set ofdiverse views from different people. Different people have differentattitudes, death at this stage. In the United States, there is a setof diverse attitudes towards death with aspects such as age, gender,religion and race contributing to people’s decision.
a)Despite death being an important, yet feared status in one’s life,more than quarter of the Americans fails to give thought about theirend of life medical treatment. 26% of adults in America agreed tohave not given a thought of how they would prefer to be treated whenthey approach their life ends. However, with respect to death, morethan half of the Americans would want to stop medical treatment anddie if they are suffering from a lot of pain and have no hope ofrecovering or improving their medical condition. However, a third ofAmericans in their later years would fight for their life no matterwhat. Racial aspects affect Americans take on death in the lateryears. 26% of whites in US would prefer all efforts be implemented tosave their lives, this is in contrast to the 61% of black Americanadults and 55% of Hispanic adults (Hooyman & Kiyak, 2008).
Withthe improved medical services in the country, Americans haveincreased hope the medical practitioners can extend their livesthrough support. Additionally, the majority of Americans believes aninfant should be accorded as much respect and treatment as possiblein case of a life threatening defects. However, 38% of adults are forthe idea that, a parent has a right to say whether treatment shouldstop in case a child’s illness is life threatening. Religiouslyunaffiliated Americans would most likely support, the idea of moralright to suicide, while religious connected people are against themove (Hooyman & Kiyak, 2008). Americans in later years, i.e. 75years and above doesn’t expect their lives to be better later intheir lives. Between men and women, gender identification plays anessential role towards peoples’ attitude to death, and the lateryears of their life. Women records higher levels of anxiety, and aremore determine to end their lives when faced with painful and lifethreatening illness, unlike men, who have a higher believe ofsurvival.
b)Studies have shown that, communication is one of the essential toolsthat need to be adhered to in case of death or dying moments both tothe patients, family or with close friends. Successful medicalencounters oblige effective and quality communication between thephysician and the patient. Information to the patient about his/hercondition is given to the patient or close family members. It’s ahard process for the physicians, to break the news to the patient,that their ailments are complicated. Nevertheless, the health caredirectives plays key role in terms of communication to both thefamily members and the patient (Hooyman & Kiyak, 2008).
Thepractice of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia has over timebrought divided views. Physicians are mostly torn between honoringpatients order to assist them into their death while at the same thelaw is against the practice. The two practices should only be used,when the patient is in great pain and there are no chances ofsurvival. However, family members should be involved in making thedecision even when the patient has accepted his/her fate. Inaddition, more than one report from the physicians should be used tomake the final call as the patient is certain to have no survivalchances.
Hooyman,N. R., & Kiyak, H. A. (2008). Socialgerontology: A multidisciplinary perspective.Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. (Widowhoodand Grandparenting:Ch.15,The resilience of older women, pp. 655-686.)
Hooyman,N. R., & Kiyak, H. A. (2008). Socialgerontology: A multidisciplinary perspective.Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. (IntergenerationalRelationships and Elder Abuse Families and Retirement: Ch.12, ProductiveAging:  Paid and Nonpaid roles and activities,p. 493-553)
Hooyman,N. R., & Kiyak, H. A. (2008). Socialgerontology: A multidisciplinary perspective.Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. (Families,Politics and Policies /Issues in Death and Dying:Ch.13, Death, Dying, Bereavement, and Widowhood, pp. 554-602. Ch.16, SocialPolicies to address social problems, p. 689-730)
Grandparenthood.2015, ppt file. Retrieved on 27thJune 2015 (retrievedfrom the given files)
ElderAbuse: An Ecological Perspective. 2015, ppt file. Retrieved on 27thJune 2015 (retrievedfrom the given files)